Wednesday, April 28, 2010

International Midwives Day was first Celebrated on May 5, 1991.

This site is well worth having a look at A Celebration of Women..... Find out who is celebrating IMD.... and how...I just love this picture.....

Great news...ANMC appointed as independent Accreditation body

This is great news... and thank you to all those people who submitted letters, emails etc to their Member of Parliament to ensure that the ANMC did not disappear....
This was a huge error on the part of the profession not to have this body formalised years ago...another lesson learned..... Just to remind everyone the ANMC is a peak body established in 1992 to facilitate a national approach to nursing and midwifery regulation. The ANMC works with state and territory Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authorities (NMRA) in evolving standards for statutory nursing and midwifery regulation. These standards are flexible, effective and responsive to the health care requirements of the Australian population.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010
ANMC appointed as independent Accreditation body
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) welcomes the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (AHWMC) decision to endorse a newly constituted ANMC as the independent accrediting body for nursing and midwifery. Read the full Media Release click here
Here is an example of lobbying working for the right result.....
“This is the result of years of lobbying and work by those in the nursing and midwifery professions who are heartened to see this day has finally come” said Adjunct Associate Professor Moira Laverty.

I am so pleased, because this means all current codes stay the same for a few years....thank God for some common sense....

Update on scheduled medicines..... midwifery

For your information........

On 1 April 2010 The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council announced its approval of national health practitioner registration standards in regards to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions. The approval includes standards for scheduled medicines endorsements for suitably qualified and rural and isolated practice registered nurses (RNs). The proposed scheduled medicines endorsements for midwives, provided by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board), has been delayed "pending the outcome of further priority discussions between the Board, and Commonwealth, State and Territory officials." For more information, read the 1 April 2010 Communique – Health Ministers Announce Approval of National Health Practitioner Registration Standards.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Submission: to NMBA for 'eligible midwife'

This was the WA submission to the NMBA: lets see what comes from this......

Submission from: WA Branch of the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) Executive.
The ACM is supportive of most of the requirements within this document. We have some concerns around the wording in the 2. Practice, continuum of midwifery care… within this document. We have outlined our concerns and points for clarification.

Re: WA Branch Australian College of Midwives’ Response: Endorsement to practice as an Eligible Midwife

1. Registration standard for the endorsement of midwives as eligible midwives.
• Accepted

2. Practice for at least three years across the continuum of midwifery care (antenatal care, intrapartum care and postpartum care of the women and their infants), within the previous 5 years.
• At the entry point of registration in Australia, midwives are licensed to practice across the full scope of midwifery practice and in accordance with the International Definition of the Midwife (2005).
• We are concerned that the 3 year practice requirement is unnecessary, unfounded and excessive it fails to recognise the academic level to which midwives are now being prepared, which will expand further with the implementation of the 18 month program. If post-registration experience must be a criterion, we support a graduate program IF it incorporates at least the same amount of time working in a continuity of care model as working in a hospital.
• There is confusion as to what the three years means; 3 years full time or part time, which is the most common work pattern for many midwives. An arbitrary requirement to book 30-40 women per year is exclusive. Many midwives work part-time and will wish to continue doing so.
• A caseload model of 30-40 women will exclude a number of midwives who could not manage this full time load but might be very keen to offer continuity of care across the continuum for a smaller number of women.
• Is there provision for those midwives who choose to work only with antenatal and postnatal women and refer women to hospitals for birthing, those whose focus is either/both antenatal & postnatal care?
• What exactly is meant by continuum of midwifery care? Does this imply it has to be the caseload model where there is a continuum for a particular woman? Or could it be that a midwife is practicing over the whole spectrum of the midwife’s role but not necessarily on a day to day basis? Does ‘over 3 years’ mean that all spheres of midwifery should be covered in the 3 years and also, is this 3 years of FTE equivalent or 3 years of part time? How part time could it be?
• We are not sure where the evidence for 3 years has come from as we are not aware that this forms any part of the prescribing requirements for midwives in other comparable countries such as UK. We have had a quick look at the NMC site and cannot find any evidence in the regulations that suggests a timeframe. We have also looked at the New Zealand (NZ) model and they are able to work in the community from day 1 of being registered. NZ does have a mentoring program in place for these midwives. (,171,html)
• We could accept the completion of one year as a graduate if initial registration is not accepted.

3. Participation in an additional 20 hours per year of continuing professional development relevant to the continuum of midwifery care.
• Additional CPD of 20 hours in addition to the one semester accredited course at PG level also seems excessive. The scope of practice is the scope of practice, midwifery skills are midwifery skills regardless of the work setting and all midwives will need to do 20 hrs CPD, why are eligible midwives going to be different? They will have already completed an extra course and will be required to do MPR.
• We do support the need for a specific course, there needs to be a decision as to whether this would need to be repeated, how is knowledge to be updated for new drugs etc.

4. Successful completion of a NMBA approved professional midwifery practice review program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care.
• We accept MPR (Australian College of Midwives)
• MPR should be mandated for all midwives in clinical practice, and if this a requirement, will the fee be subsidised by the government?

5. Compliance with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives – that is the requirements for midwives to work collaboratively with other health professionals as outlined in regulation and national health policy instruments.
• Collaborative requirements as per Guidance document emphasises that this means equality in professional relationships and not one profession directing another, which needs to be re-iterated in this document
• The definition of collaboration must be re-stated in this and all documents related to this transition, so that the message gets across loudly and clearly that it does not mean midwives may only practice in this model if a doctor or service says they will provide consultation and care if referral is required. (National Guidance on collaborative maternity Care: NHMRC)

6. Successful completion of an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives’ knowledge and skills in prescribing, or a program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved program of study….
• There is little emphasis on initiation and interpretation of diagnostic tests, which will also be included under Medicare – We think the educational preparation should include this aspect as was recommended in the previous NHMRC Effective options for childbirth document some years ago, which the Enhanced Role Midwife course was based on in WA.
• Will there be a set list of medications (as there is currently for newly qualifying midwives in the UK) or no set list but only drugs that are ‘within the normal scope of midwifery practice’ (as is currently in New Zealand). Whichever is decided upon we think it should include drugs that would be used in an emergency (as listed in the South Australian consultation paper which also includes, for example, Ergometrine, Adrenaline and Magnesium Sulphate).
• Our preference would be that Pharmacology, Prescribing, Screening and Diagnostics unit becomes part of the pre-registration courses so that midwives qualify with these skills, as they do in New Zealand. However, we can see this is very unlikely so a one year post registration is enough of a consolidation to then be able to undertake such a course to be an eligible midwife.
We take this opportunity to thank the NMBA for providing this opportunity to respond and recognise the need for midwives to be experienced across the full scope of midwifery practice. This document reflects the views of the midwives of the profession, and considers the safety of the public in terms of proficiency, wellbeing and knowledge of the ‘eligible midwife’.

WA Branch executive committee
Pp Pauline Costins

Monday, April 19, 2010

Have your say on what the 'Eligible Midwife' will be

Well here it is the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has released a draft of what 'eligible midwife' may look like.....

The Key points are as follows;
1. Current general registration as a midwife in Australia with no restrictions on practice - having as it does all the requirements for eligibility for registration under the Act.

2. Practice for at least three years across the continuum of midwifery care (ante-natal care, intrapartum care and post-partum care of women and their infants), within the previous 5 years.

3. participation in an additional 20 hours per year of continuing professional development relevant to the continuum of midwifery care.

4. successful completion of a NMBA approved professional midwifery practice review program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care.

5. compliance with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives- that is the requirements for midwives to work collaboratively with other health professionals as outlined in regulation and national health policy instruments.

6. successful completion of an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives' knowledge and skills in prescribing, or a program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved program of study (at midwifery post graduate level and designed around the flour components of prescribing - information gathering, clinical decision making, generation of medication order and monitoring the review.

As the model of care for eligible midwives is across the continuum of maternity care, eligibility is contingent upon all requirements being met..... therefore once a midwife has been endorsed as an eligible midwife; and authorised and provided with the necessary provider number by Medicare Australia: READ the full document Guidelines & Assessment framework for the recognition & endorsement of eligible midwives

2 Endorsement to practice as an eligible midwife (to read the full document click the hyperlink)

To be entitled to endorsement under section 98 of the National Law an applicant wishing to be identified as an eligible midwife must be able to meet all the requirements including being a currently registered midwife in Australia; being able to demonstrate through professional review of practice at least 3 years experience across the continuum of midwifery care within the 5 year period preceding the application, comply with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives; and have an approved qualification to administer, obtain, possess, prescribe and supply scheduled medicines required for practice across that
continuum of midwifery care.

Wording to appear on the register
Endorsed as an eligible midwife working across the continuum of midwifery care and qualified to provide the associated services, order diagnostic investigations and administer, obtain, possess, prescribe and supply schedule 2,3,4 & 8 medicines in
accordance with relevant State and Territory legislation, required for midwifery practice.

If you wish to provide comments on this paper, please lodge a written submission in electronic form by email to by close of business on Wednesday 27 April 2010.

PLEASE FORWARD COMMENTS....if you wish please respond to the blog and I will collate the comments for a submission, but you need to add your name to the comments, otherwise they will not be included....... Now is the time to have your say..... get women, mothers, consumers....anyone who is interested in birthing in Australia needs to have a say....this is the future of Homebirth and Private Practice in Australia.....there is a short consulation period so please do it now!

Cheers Pauline

Have you registered?

Have you registered for International Midwives Day 2010?
Midwifery: Diverse Care for a Diverse Community At UWA May 1st

Register now!
It’s easy - just call ACM National Office (02) 6230 733 or 1300 360 480
and pay by credit card Or go to Or email
6 MidPlus points for attending

ACM Education Committee

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Maternity Services Reforms: indemnity insurance - what is it going to cost?

Maternity Services Reforms
More choice for women – indemnity insurance for midwives
Indemnity insurance - protection for midwives

As you are all aware from July 1st 2010 National Registration starts: this means that Privately-practising, eligible midwives will be able to access Australian Government supported professional indemnity insurance from 1 July 2010. The Dept of Health and Aging has released this document; Maternity Services Reforms
More choice for women – indemnity insurance for midwives;

I am not so sure about the offer......The premium for a midwife in full time practice is expected to be around $7,500 per year, that is $144.23 per week. However this insurance will not cover the planned delivery of babies in the home – for which there is a two year exemption from the requirement under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for midwives to hold professional indemnity insurance. It should be noted that the exemption relates only to the actual homebirth.

I wonder how many hoops midwives have to jump through to be an eligible midwife? I would of thought that after completing the required course to become a midwife you would be qualified to work as a midwife..... but Alas this is not the case in Australia it seems that we have to do even more to obtain the new reforms proposed....they say that....Pregnant women and new mothers will have more choice in maternity care because the clients of eligible midwives with professional indemnity insurance will be able to access services subsidised by the Government through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

I feel that women will have less choice because there will not be any 'eligible midwives', and I suppose that will suit the AMA.....what happened to fair play? and equal opportunities? Where is the ethics in all of this?.... it seems that ethical principles have gone out the window....

I ask at what price is this privilege coming and by privilege I mean MBS & PBS..... we are introducing another word, phrase, type, description of a midwife... the 'eligible midwife' who is currently the private practicing midwife or independent midwife.... how many of the current private practice midwives will be able to jump through the hoops...and we do not yet know what those hoops are???? if this offer of indemnity insurance is anything to go by... I suspect we are in trouble......

Definition of a Midwife
A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery.
The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in
partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy,labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.

Reference of definition: International Confederation of Midwives

Friday, April 16, 2010

Draft National Guidance on Collaborative Maternity Care

OK if you want to see what Collaborative Maternity Care might look it is...
Its time to make a is time to review the Draft National Guidance on Collaborative Maternity Care: The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has produced this document with input from many is our turn to comment, what do you think is good, bad, not so good, what needs adding or taking out....public consultation is the time you have to put forward your ideas so take the opportunity to do proactive...this is our future as midwives....

The current public and targeted consultation period ends on April 27th 2010.

To view the Draft Guidance document and for information on making a submission go to the NHMRC website - - then click on public consultations under the ?quick links? heading.

If you have any questions about the project or about making a submission please contact the NHMRC project team via email: or phone: 02 62175196

"In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed". Charles Darwin

Cheers Pauline

Friday, April 9, 2010

Have you started your MidPLUS?

I can hear you saying what is MidPLUS..... well you might just ask that.... I am usually very diligent with maintaining paper base professional portfolio, I always have not sure why some people are just anally retentive about things like that and I am one of them. I am slowly moving to an iPortfolio as well....but that is another blog. What I like about MidPLUS is that it can be both paper or computer base which ever you I am in limbo it is great for me...

What is MidPLUS

MidPLUS is a best practice continuing professional development (CPD) program for Australian midwives. MidPLUS is uniquely designed by midwives for midwives.
MidPLUS aims to help you to plan and participate in CPD activities that are relevant to your learning needs and your midwifery practice or role. In so doing, MidPLUS supports the provision of high quality, woman-centred midwifery care. (ACM)

When you enroll in MidPLUS you receive a Portfolio (folder) and reflective practice guide; planning pro formas; a personal online CPD log; regular updates about quality CPD activities for midwives, and ongoing support to assist you to keep up-to date with developments in midwifery practice. its a great package..... well worth it and the support when you call because you are unsure of how to complete a section was tremendous.

With National Registration and Eligibility looming I wanted to be up to scratch.... ready to that means having evidence to prove I am an eligible midwife.

The challenge for me has been starting MidPLUS, the folder has been sitting collecting dust on my bookshelf, staring down at me begging the question "when are you going to start me and see what I am all about. You paid good money for me - so now put me to good use".
Procrastination is a great thing...... but today I conquered MidPLUS and it wasn't that bad.... in fact I am impressed.. I logged more than the required hours of professional development (CPD) once i started i couldn't stop....and I am going to share how I did that. If you keep it up... that is update every 6 months then it wouldn't take as long....but like anything when it is new it will take a little longer.

Firstly I write all study days, conferences, meetings,reviewing policy, reading an articles, and teaching sessions in my diary. My certificates are usually in my portfolio and reflections stored in my computer. It was a matter of collating all that information into the new format. It was good flicking through my diary for the dates....

There are two ways of logging actives: Active and Passive; attending a study day would be active and reading an article would be passive. You need to complete 30 hours of active CPD in a year, but you know we generally do more than that, this is a way of logging what we do. 20 hours need to be from the Active category and 10 from the Passive range.

First step; login to MidPLUS then scroll down and choose Log an activity - here you will write the description of the activity, date, time and small reflection of what you learnt, then you will log the hours it took - so I will use the Magic of Midwifery study day as an example - the points awarded for the day would be 6 points which is equal to 1 point per hour (not including breaks).... this is the general rule, this would be active; as I was on the education committee and I would be reviewing the presentations I could log that time as passive so I would log 2 hours for reviewing the program and presentations. To validate this activity I would upload the certificate of attendance or the program for the day, I would also upload the minutes from the education committee meetings as proof of my participation.

Another example would be I am asked to review the hospital policy on transferring neonates to the teritary unit. I would log this as active, the time it takes me to review the policy and the articles I read to improve the policy and keep it evidenced based.... therefore this may take me a few hours over several days.... in total 2 hrs a day for a week = 10hrs of active CPD.... I would upload the new policy as evidence of the activity. Remembering that my MidPLUS is totally confidential.

Take the first step and start your MidPLUS.....if you haven't enrolled yet into MidPLUS now is your opportunity...... click here for more information.....go ahead it is well worth the effort....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife, celebrate in the comfort of your home

The count down has began to this great event......
Take some time out and have a look at the 24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010. Come and celebrate with us.... the 24 hour Virtual day has been planned by Sarah Stewart from Otago Polytechnic Education Development Centre (NZ) and Dr Deborah Davis from the University of Technology in Sydney.

I participated & presented last year and found it a brilliant experience.... most amazing was being able to talk to students and midwives all over the world sitting at my desk at home......its a great concept, networking, sharing with like minded people.

What do you need to be part of it....well that's easy, a computer, Internet and Elluminate.... what is Elluminate it is a virtual meeting room, you need to get access to it .....please click here: How to use Elluminate

Check out the times and the program 24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010 - planning page

Go on be daring try something different..... spread the word see you there.