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Maternity Care

The Role of the Midwife in Public Health

Current national and international maternity care policy has very clear health promotion and public health principles. Wider policy on health inequalities throughout the life course also support the importance of investing in early years. The overarching aim of these policies is to maximise the health of infants and children at the start of life. Midwives are ideally placed to contribute to this agenda.

In 2010 NES commissioned Queen's University of Belfast to scope the current provision of pre and post registration midwifery education in relation to public health and inequalities. The scoping exercise highlighted that the current level of understanding around midwifery and public health could be strengthened and would need developed further to maximise the public health impact of midwives.

The report of the findings is available here: Public Health and Midwifery Education Scoping Report

NES will work with the Scottish Government to strengthen the current level of understanding around midwifery and public health in order to maximise the public health impact of midwives.

The potential public health role in midwifery has been well documented and Midwifery 2020 sought to offer further clarity.  Public health is an enormous concept, within which health care services play a small but very important part.  The contribution of maternity services and of midwifery care is smaller still but remains significant, as part of a much wider approach that include a range of factors, agencies and actors.  Specifically in the development of assessment skills and asset or strengths based approaches to health improvement and inequalities as well as key gaps in clinical or technical skills.

Resources


Project Contacts:

Educational Projects Manager, Sandra Smith