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Janet Medforth

, Linda Ball

, Angela Walker

, Sue Battersby

, and Sarah Stables

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date: 15 October 2019

This chapter comprises a midwifery definition and explains the midwife’s role, focusing on the challenges of a changing population demographic with increasing levels of complexity, ill health, and maternal morbidity. Highlights from the latest MBRRACE (2014) report are reflected as is new evidence of the value of midwifery-led care in all settings. Statutory supervision of midwifery in its current model is unique to UK midwifery and there are proposed changes to the regulatory framework pending in 2017. Meanwhile, current supervision arrangements remain in place until regulations are redrafted. Drug administration information is updated and the latest Human Medicines Regulations (2012) are cited along with the list of midwives exemptions. Independent prescribing is included here to indicate how by undertaking further approved training a midwife could be permitted to prescribe medicines promptly and without delay whilst giving care, e.g. prescription of antibiotics for mastitis, infected perineum, or urinary tract infection.

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