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RCM: Development of a Maternity strategy for the Isle of Man

Monday, 5 September 2022

This statement is in response to a press release issued by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on Monday 5 September in relation to the development of a maternity strategy for the Island:

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is visiting the Isle of Man this week (6 and 7 September 2022) to meet with Teresa Cope (CEO of Manx Care), Paul Moore (Executive Director of Nursing and Governance), and our Maternity team, as well as with members of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The visit will focus on developing a Maternity Strategy for the Island which Manx Care is committed to progress alongside the recommendations made in the Ockenden Report* which sets a standard for all NHS Maternity Services to meet – something we aspire to meet.

We very much welcome the RCM’s visit and their insights for the Island, and are working with them and the DHSC to drive standards in maternity care moving forward.

Manx Care recognises and is grateful for the RCM’s support at a time when Maternity services are facing significant workforce challenges, both here on the Isle of Man and across the UK. When Manx Care came into existence on 01 April 2021, it inherited a service with a number of long-standing vacancies and recruitment gaps, a position that has been incredibly difficult to address as a result of there being a significant shortage of Midwives in the UK.

Manx Care is exploring all options to increase midwife recruitment and pre-registration training. We currently have our first Student Midwife on placement from Salford University and we hope she will return home to the Island and take up a position with us once she has graduated. The team is also focusing on the delivery of more joined-up care to people who require their support, for example launching the Rainbow Care service for pregnant ladies who have previously lost their baby, providing them with extra support throughout subsequent pregnancies.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the role played by all of our colleagues working in Maternity Services on the Island, and the exceptional level of care and dedication they provide to the families they look after.

*Maternity Services across the UK are currently undergoing a transformation in line with the recommendations outlined in the Ockenden Report, an independent review into the provision of maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust led by Senior Midwife, Donna Ockenden, following a number of concerns raised by families and staff there. 

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