EU Midwifery Regulators agree to new network

Date

28 May 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

Midwifery Regulators from eighteen European countries have met in London to discuss ways in which they can collaborate to enhance the safety of women and babies across the EU.

Hosted in London by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on Friday 22 May, the event was the first of its kind to bring together regulators of midwives from across the continent.

Focused on the challenges posed by EU legislation on the freedom of movement of professionals across Europe, the summit was open and interactive, and saw a high level of participation by attendees.

Issues discussed included the diversity in midwife training and scope of practice across Europe as well as the importance of sharing fitness to practise information on midwives crossing borders.

Those present at the event welcomed an initiative, put forward by the French Order of Midwives and the NMC, to develop an informal network of European midwifery regulators.

The aim of such a network will be to improve the exchange of best practice between regulators and to co-ordinate joint communications with EU decision makers on issues of mutual concern, especially in regard to EU legislation.

Regulators from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain were represented at the event, alongside the NMC.

Tony Hazell, NMC Chair and chair of the summit, said:

“I am delighted that so many countries were represented at this event and at the level of consensus we were able to reach. I believe that ever increasing mobility of health professionals within the EU compels us as regulators to work together to ensure the safety of service users comes first.”

Christina McKenzie, Head of Midwifery at the NMC, said:

“This event has demonstrated that European midwifery regulators face similar challenges in terms of ensuring only those midwives who are fit to practise are able to join our registers and move between countries. I am heartened by how eager colleagues across Europe are to increase collaboration, and look forward to working more closely with my EU counterparts over coming months and years.”

Due to the success of the event, a second Summit of European Midwifery Regulators will be organised in Paris, on 20 November 2009.

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) exists to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public. We register all nurses and midwives and ensure that they are properly qualified and competent to work in the UK. We set standards of education, training and conduct for nurses and midwives. We provide advice and guidance to help nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date so that they can deliver high quality healthcare consistently throughout their careers. We have fair processes to investigate allegations made against nurses and midwives who may not have followed our standards, rules and the Code.
2. For media enquiries or for further information about Summit of EU Midwifery Regulators, please contact Polly Kettenacker, EU and International Officer at polly.kettenacker@nmc-uk.org or +44 207 462 5874.