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Positive Response to Healthdownsouth


Wednesday, 18 June


Positive Response to Healthdownsouth at International Midwifery Conference.

Over 50 midwives expressed their interest in a move to the Otago Southland region at this month’s International Confederation of Midwives Conference in Glasgow, said Jenny Humphries, Southland District Health Board Associate Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

Ms Humphries represented both Otago and Southland District Health Boards at the international midwifery event under their joint 'Healthdownsouth' brand, as part of the two DHBs long term recruitment strategy to attract midwives to the region. 

She said the stand had proven popular, receiving positive feedback with some quality discussions taking place with midwives interested in moving to southern New Zealand.

"We had a good mix of students and experienced midwives coming to talk to us, including some serious interest by about 50 midwives who we have registered on our database to continue discussion with as they work towards achieving registration with the NZ Midwifery Council."

"The feedback I had from midwives over there was that the UK is currently training more midwives than there are positions available. As New Zealand is seen as a desirable lifestyle destination, our presence at this conference has definitely been valuable in linking in with this target audience."

Ms Humphries also met up with a few midwives who have been in dialogue with the DHBs following on from last year's October UK expo events.

"It was great to have met with these midwives in person and to be able to reinforce the lifestyle and career discussions we have been having over the email, in a more personable and informal way.

"We will now be continuing to follow up with candidates as we review their CVs, provide them with more detailed information about living down south, and supporting them through the registration process with the Midwifery Council. This type of activity will continue over the next 6 months - 24 months depending on people's circumstances, with a view to us being able to offer employment once they are registered."

The conference had also been valuable in terms of its content and the international networking opportunities, Ms Humphries said. 

"It's been extremely useful to meet with colleagues from around the world and to learn about initiatives and projects they are undertaking, for example in areas of newborn screening, IT platforms and early childhood checks," she said. 

With an impressive opening ceremony, featuring speakers the Princess Royal, Princess Anne and Sarah Brown, the wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the conference was attended by over 3,500 midwives from across the world.

Topics discussed during the conference included female genital mutilation; educating fathers beyond the waiting room; breastfeeding; reducing maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa; maternity care in rural Scotland; supporting pregnant women with learning difficulties; midwifery care for HIV positive women; the psychological effects on women of infertility; first-time mothers’ experiences of caring for their new babies; and emergency caesarean sections.

The conference ran from 1-5 June in Glasgow. 




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