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Maternity Care

Maternity Care

“Any proposed review of maternity services should focus on midwifery training,” said David Russell , Chief Executive of Consumers’ Institute.

“We raised concerns in August about maternity care – particularly the shortages of independent midwives in some parts of the country, lack of choice in maternity carer, and lack of accountability. The tragic recent cases in the Wellington Coroner’s Court have highlighted some of our concerns” he said.

“We’re also aware that a discussion document issued by the Midwifery Council, as part of the current review of training, shows a lack of consistency in the curriculum content at the five midwifery schools throughout the country. A more rigorous formal assessment system of practising midwives is also needed.”

The review found only one school offered a specific course in nutrition for pregnancy and childbirth.

There was considerable inconsistency in what is classed as “clinical experience”, with some students struggling to meet the national minimum requirement that they facilitate 30 births. Clinical placement also varied. One school defined community-agency placements and community projects as clinical experience, while other schools only count placements in maternity settings.

“This information and our other concerns about assessment are why we support Wellington coroner Garry Evans’ call for a review of midwifery education and his suggestion of a one-year internship” said David Russell. “We believe reforms are needed in midwifery training and will continue to lobby for better team-based care for mothers.” END

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