Sunday, September 4, 2011

Role of the registered midwife in private practice when the woman is admitted to a health service as a public patient

A new position statement has been circulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, concerning the role of the midwife who supports a woman admitted to a public hospital. Extracted from that position statement:
... The midwife may choose to withdraw when the care of the woman is assigned to the health facility’s health care professionals. However, should the woman request it, the midwife may choose to remain as a support person to the woman either as paid or unpaid as agreed between them.

The Board recognises that the midwife has no obligation to stay with the woman and that it is an individual decision for the midwife. If the midwife chooses to stay with the woman - and therefore take on a support person role - the midwife must articulate the change in role to the woman, who should then consent to the midwife’s involvement as a support person only. The midwife should also clarify her change in role from midwife to support person with the health service.

The decision by the midwife to remain as a support person is linked to the woman’s right to choose the person(s) whom she wishes to be with her during birth. ...
Readers of this blog will know that midwives and women in our care have had reason to be very concerned about the apparent new 'rules' that had arisen, applied to private midwives attending our clients in hospitals which, for the record, do not yet have any process by which the midwife can be credentialed for clinical privileges/visiting access. With that in mind, some midwives are expressing a sense of relief that the unthinkable - abandoning a labouring woman when she is admitted to hospital - might happen. This position statement offers a pathway by which the midwife can continue 'with woman' after she has been admitted to hospital.

No comments: