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Inspectors say Guernsey's midwifery service has improved significantly

NMC inspectors returned to the island in November to assess the pre-registration training programme for midwives and the supervising authority's performance

Inspectors have published reports from their return visit to Guernsey, announcing that many of the failings identified more than a year ago have been rectified.

The team from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) were following up the extraordinary review of the island’s local supervising authority, which took place in October 2014, following serious concerns about midwifery provision.

The current midwife programme at Princess Elizabeth Hospital, delivered by the University of East Anglia (UEA), and the supervision role provided by NHS England South West, were assessed separately in the latest visit in November.

So serious were the failings identified in 2014 that the UEA withdrew its midwives from the hospital, slowly reintroducing them over the past year.

The latest report found that admissions procedures now meet NMC requirements, ensuring that all students have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health clearance before their first practice placement.

However, inadequate safeguards were identified that could prevent potentially unsuitable students from progressing to a subsequent part the programme before meeting the learning outcomes of the previous part.

Inspectors found that NHS England South West has systems and processes in place to monitor the performance of midwives to control risks and meet the midwives rules and standards to assure protection of the public.

They reported that five out of the seven NMC rules and standards are being met, but rule six on record keeping and rule seven on the role of the midwifery officer require improvement.

Following the report’s publication, Jackie Smith, the NMC registrar, said: ‘I am delighted that real progress has been achieved through the tireless efforts of staff at Guernsey's health and social services department. There is stronger leadership in place and the organisational culture is now one where communication and engagement are high priorities, which is a very important change.

‘This is a process of continuous development and there is still work to be done. We know that staff at health and social services department are not complacent and are committed to making further improvements.

‘We will continue to monitor progress as this work moves into a new phase where ongoing improvements become business as usual.’

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