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Coded rhetoric: The reality of midwifery practice

Group, Birth Project; Mander, Rosemary; McHugh, Nessa


Birth Project Group

Rosemary Mander


In the light of certain failings in NHS provision of care, the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC, 2015) Code requires staff to engage more effectively with patients and service users. An online survey was undertaken by the Birth Project Group to assess how economic stringencies affecting health care have an impact on midwives' perceptions of their practice. Midwives were less positive about their employers' desire for quality care provision than the Code might suggest. Midwives found difficulty engaging effectively due to staff shortages and lack of time for basic activities. Evidence-based practice tended not to be a priority. Some midwives were content with their practice environment, but many reported a range of serious interpersonal difficulties. Midwives were seriously concerned about the safety of women and their babies, as well as about their own welfare. It is argued that the NMC should recognise the reality of midwives' practice environment.


Group, B. P., Mander, R., & McHugh, N. (2016). Coded rhetoric: The reality of midwifery practice. British Journal of Midwifery, 24(5), 344-352.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date May 2, 2016
Publication Date Jun 2, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2016
Journal British Journal of Midwifery
Print ISSN 0969-4900
Electronic ISSN 2052-4307
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 5
Pages 344-352
Keywords Midwives, midwifery students, statutory regulation, clinical practice, online survey,
Public URL