Midwife scandalCommenting on the Law Commissions’ report in the regulation of health and social care professionals, the Royal College of Midwives’ Director for Midwifery Louise Silverton said: “We welcome this long-awaited report, but we are concerned that as there will be no statutory midwifery committee the voice of midwives will be lost within the NMC.

The UK has one of the best maternity services in the world, which is due to our independent regulation. This is something others wish to emulate around the globe. Midwives are different because they are autonomous health professionals and deal with two lives – a mother’s and a baby’s. We are a different profession from nurses and need to be sure that the regulation of midwives and midwifery is not dominated by nursing.”

We appreciate the report’s focus on simplifying the NMC’s Fitness to Practise processes. The majority of midwives never come before an FtP panel and so anything which streamlines and enhances these processes will be welcomed. This will enhance the protection of the public and reduce the cost of NMC’ fees for midwives and nurses.

The regulation system must also pay attention to keeping those they regulate up-to-date and being ‘fit to practise.’ We need the regulator to be proactive and focus more on championing good practice and preventing bad practice.

We have recently welcomed the NMC’s decision to strengthen its Midwifery Committee and feel that the loss of the Committee and potentially the loss of a midwifery voice on the council would be a backward step.”