The National Health Service Constitution: Prioritising Women In Midwifery Practice

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The aim of this essay is to discuss and focus on professionalism and the importance of prioritising women in midwifery practice. The essay will demonstrate how a midwife’s behaviour contributes to the NHS to provide and deliver an exceptional service.

The National Health Service Constitution (NHS) was issued on 21st January 2009 by Lord Darzi. The NHS Constitution was developed so it can safeguard the NHS and continue to proceed in all principles, values, rights and responsibilities and make sure these strategies are always delivered by everyone, this is an important legal document for everyone to read and abide. The Constitution is updated every ten years, by everyone participating to build improvements. The main message of the Constitution is to make sure that everyone who uses the service or works in the service has the right attitude, behaviour and keeps the NHS’s reputation at high standards. The Constitution outlines precise and accurate information in a less complex way for people to read and understand. (GOV.UK, 2015)

The Constitution believes in high standards and staying on top form as an NHS employee. The third principle stated in the constitution “The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism”, has been outlined because the principle must be followed and actioned every time (GOV.UK, 2015). In addition, upholding the principle in a professional manner is the key to success and builds one’s reputation in the workforce. Moreover, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2018) code reflects this principle because the NMC believes in professionalism in practice that is required to gain revalidation. The Code states “uphold the reputation of your profession at all times”, this highlights a midwifes rules and regulations that must be delivered. The Author experienced, a shadowing opportunity at Hillingdon Hospital on January 2019 in an antenatal clinic. The Author observed the midwife’s communication with women and other healthcare experts. The midwife communicated and listened to women from different cultures, it was noticed there was language issues at times, the midwife listened to concerns and dealt with situations in a professional manner. The midwife asked for consent before undergoing all observations and showed respect and dignity in every aspect. The Author noticed the midwife educated women by providing information such as exercise and diets throughout the pregnancy. The Author witnessed the midwife’s behaviour was professional and ruled out various parts of section 20 of the Code. The midwife engaged in each women’s appointment and put women first and kept them all as priority.

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Another principle the midwife’s follow is principle 4 “The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does” (GOV.UK, 2015). The principle relates to the NMC Code “prioritising people” where both organisations aim to protect mother and baby, provide care and show compassion to improve their wellbeing. The NHS believes in keeping patients close to them by listening and discussing needs collectively. In the Authors experience she witnessed a baby being born 20th May 2010; the baby was taken to neonatal unit because of low sugar levels. The midwife listened to the mother and partner during that complex time and showed compassion. In addition, the mother was going through an emotional time such as personal problems and postnatal depression. Furthermore, the midwife was there for the family and the midwifes behaviour did not change if family members were demanding answers. The midwife communicated in politeness, prioritised time to discuss relevant concerns and helped mother gain confidence in holding and breastfeeding her baby. The midwife’s enthusiasm in this process was of quality and she always communicated with the multidisciplinary team for updates or if mother and partner needed to be reassured. The midwife had courage to tell the mother information and it was delivered appropriately in respect of confidentiality. The Author noticed the midwife showed commitment and discussed all matters, whether it was good news or bad news. In addition, the midwife went beyond, exceeded expectations and prioritised according to the NHS Constitution and NMC Code sections 1-5. The midwife was open and honest and built a trusting relationship with the family.

In midwifery practice all midwives should speak “openly and honestly” (Duty of Candour) when speaking to healthcare experts, women and partners. It is the midwife’s responsibility to give any necessary updated information to women in her care, when issues arise with treatment given, procedures or any other problems. Midwife’s should not keep women in suspense and communicate with professionalism.

In conclusion, the constitution has significant information set out for NHS workers or public users. It is vital for everyone to abide the constitution handbook every time a person uses the service. The United Kingdom is proud of the service because the NHS is highly respected throughout the world. The principles highlighted for professionalism and prioritising people are substantial for midwifery practice and helps midwives run a smooth practice with the right attitude. The focus is the wellbeing of everyone who walks through the doors and for midwives to provide the best service by executing and delivering excellent care, compassion, communication, courage, competence and commitment in midwifery practice. Midwives are the main contact for women in their care, their behaviour and professionalism must be delivered according to the Constitution and NMC Code. It is important that midwives speak openly and remain honest with everyone to build a reliable relationship, irrespective of the situation.

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The National Health Service Constitution: Prioritising Women In Midwifery Practice. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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