RCM Annual Conference

Day 1 Programme

STREAM A

Session description
The RCM President will welcome all to the conference. The Chief Executive will talk about the key priorities for the RCM and what the successes and challenges have been for 2022.

Session description
This collaborative research project is led by Ulster University and supported by researchers from Queen's University Belfast, Bath Spa University and King's College London. This session will provide an overview of research findings across the duration of COVID, highlight the emerging themes, including midwifery-specific findings in comparison to other professional groups, and set out the recommendations for interventions

Session description
This session will explore the question of how NHS staff can continue and still be expected to do the job when the fuel tank is empty, and the fuel line is cut?.  It will cover how they can be provided a tool kit to help them and will also present a student midwife perspective on this theme.

Session description
This session will examine how maternity services have responded to the crisis and what’s next. You will also hear from the CNOs from Ireland, Scotland and England on how they plan on restoring services.

Session description
The Re:Birth project aims to enable the maternity community across the UK to come together to develop a new, shared, positive narrative around birth. The project is now complete, and this session will look at its findings and themes, what it means for practitioners, and why it is important to implement the recommendations.

Session description
Coming soon

STREAM B

Session description
The ABC project is about reducing avoidable brain injury in childbirth and collaborative working to improve care in labour for all. This session will provide insights into the ABC programme and how it has combined clinical expertise, lived experiences, and the best possible scientific evidence to co-design a national programme that will create lasting improvements in intrapartum care.

Session description
Breastfeeding is a workplace issue, and this session will focus on the employment matters for women returning to work, and the experiences of NHS staff returning following the birth of a baby. The session should explore the opportunities and challenges faced by women coming back to the workplace after maternity leave and will identify examples of good practice. 

Session description
In this session we will discuss the importance of RCM Branches and the impact they can have on improving staff well-being, sharing how she has fully supported and engaged with local branches. We will address how personal sacrifices, while tolerated, can affect your mental health over time. We will look at psychologically-safe working environments, as well as tools individuals can use to optimise their own mental well-being.

Session description
Education is the foundation of midwifery and as such the education system should represent and reflect the needs of midwifery students and the women and babies they care for. Currently in the United Kingdom 94% of the midwifery curriculum follows a euro-centric model. To enable decolonisation of the midwifery curriculum, gaps in education must be acknowledged and steps taken to resolve them. The need for this work is further underlined by the evidence of inequality in progression for Black, Asian and minority ethic students in higher education, and midwifery staff in the NHS. Acting as a follow-on conversation from the previous webinar by the RCM’s Student Midwife Forum, this session will host a panel of speakers sharing the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic student midwives.

Session description
Communication, compassion, and informed choice are vital for the well-being of bereaved parents and families. This session will explore the impact of COVID on bereavement care and highlight the value of midwives and maternity support workers in the provision of high-quality care. The winner of the RCM’s 2021 Maternity Support Worker award will talk about her experiences working in a multidisciplinary team and providing seamless care.

Day 2 Programme

STREAM A

Session description
In this session the speakers will examine the concept of stigma from their own unique perspectives. They will discuss the social and cultural influences on people seeking support for mental ill health and the experiences of accessing services, providing insight into how midwives and maternity support workers can step up to give support.

Session description
Dr Joan Myers will talk about her passion for equality, diversity and inclusion and her approach to thriving in the NHS. She will discuss the link between supportive and caring workplaces and high-quality care for women. In these challenging times, this inspirational speaker will celebrate the work of the maternity team and remind members of the power of solidarity and self-belief.

Session description
This panel discussion will address what raising concerns means for midwives, maternity support workers and students in practice, and how they can safely raise concerns to improve outcomes for the women, babies and families they care for.

Session description
Healthcare professionals must be open and honest when things go wrong. In this session the panel will discuss those difficult conversations, shedding light on how to ask the right questions and your responsibilities with regards to duty of candour. They will also examine the process of learning and moving forward in an open and transparent manner, and how service user feedback can improve care. 

Session description
Birte Harlev-lam and Suzanne Tyler will be in conversation about the next steps for the RCM, both as a trade union and a professional body. They will examine the challenges now facing midwives, MSWs and student midwives, and how they will be supported by the RCM.

 

STREAM B

Session description
The panel will address the challenges facing maternity units and showcase some good examples of flexible working in practice. They will also address the need to encourage a new and more diverse workforce by focusing on the next generation of MSWs and midwives.

Session description
This session will provide a demonstration of the Tommy’s tool and the evidence that supports it. The panel will also discuss the impact of the app on inequalities - the benefits and the challenges, on communication around personalisation of risk, and on the ability to reach different communities.

Session description
The Turning the Tide report (October 2020) drew attention to the effects of institutional and structural racism on experiences of personal life and career development of Black, Asian and mixed ethnicity staff within the NHS. The panel will discuss the RCM mentoring platform, developed following the publication of the report, and the benefits and challenges for mentors and mentees.