Northern Ireland has become the first UK country to have all its maternity services signed up to a charter dedicated to supporting staff wellbeing in the workplace.
Launched in June 2016, the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) Caring for You charter aims to get NHS organisations across the UK signing up. More than half of maternity services in hospital trusts and boards have done so now, with Northern Ireland becoming the first to have 100% sign up.
The charter aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of midwives, student midwives, and maternity support workers. According to the RCM, employee involvement, motivation and performance levels increase and outcomes for women improve when staff wellbeing is supported.
Director of the RCM in Northern Ireland Breedagh Hughes said: ‘I am immensely proud that Northern Ireland is leading the way. Our maternity services and their staff should all be proud, as should our hardworking staff and workplace representatives.
‘This is a great achievement and a significant step in improving the working lives of midwives and maternity support workers, and the care for mothers, babies and their families.’
Organisations signing the charter commit to working with the RCM to develop and implement an action plan outlining health, safety and wellbeing issues important to the maternity workforce and service users. They also commit to ensuring midwives and maternity support workers have access to flexible working, and to promoting a positive workplace culture, including taking breaks.