Twitter chat discusses Future Midwives

Health Education England recently held a Twitter event to encourage discussion and debate about the role of Midwives in the future.

Hosted by Health Education England, and featuring leading voices within midwifery, the panel included: Mark Radford from Health Education England, Sally Ashton-May, lead Midwife from Health Education England, Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director at the Royal College of Midwives, and Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, England’s first Chief Midwifery Officer .

The chat took place using the hashtag #FutureMidwivesChat, with the first theme of the evening discussing “effective practice experience” and what could be done to improve it.

Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent commented on the discussion by saying: “An effective practice learning experience is where skilled, competent midwives and doctors teach, supervise, assess and nurture students as they learn the art & science of midwifery & maternity care.”

The second theme of the evening focused on: “If you were encouraging friends or family to consider a career as a midwife, what experiences have you had in your training that you would showcase/highlight to encourage them.”

Carloine Newson, a student midwife from the University of Nottingham, said: “I’ve had two very positive experiences of caring for bereaved families. I was privileged to have been part of that, I learnt so much from caring for them and I’m grateful they let me share in their stories.”

The discussion and debate continued to focus on the value of research in midwifery, with replies in the chat covering varying areas of research. Heidi Evans, a student midwife from Bristol, said: “Current midwifery research will inform the evidence-based practice of the future. It is the most valuable tool for change!”

Mark Radford, added to the conversation by saying: “Although I was a Nurse, I really enjoyed my clinical time working with Midwifery, Obstetric and Anaesthetic teams in support of women with complex labour – brilliant to see the expert care by midwives and encourage people to join profession”.

Another user contributed by saying: “Research is integral to midwifery. It supports true evidence-based practice and enables midwives to provide the best care to women, babies and families.”

The final theme of the panel was a discussion around good leadership, and Sally Ashton-May, said: “For me a good leader is someone who knows when to walk beside, behind or in front – leads with passion and commitment and takes others with them.”

To read the Twitter chat further, please click here.