Joint statement on the return of midwifery students to the maternity service at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Bangor University recognise that excellence in the education and training of midwives is important for two key reasons. Firstly, we will secure the midwifery workforce of the future. Secondly, providing placements for midwifery students can contribute to the general culture of learning and development within midwifery services. In 2015, student midwives were temporarily withdrawn from the maternity service in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd following concerns raised by stakeholders. We have been committed to returning midwifery students to the service. We agreed to jointly re-evaluate the suitability of the service as a placement area for midwifery students.

The senior nursing and midwifery teams from our two organisations jointly developed a decision-making and risk management framework to re-evaluate the suitability of the practice learning environment. In addition to the data held by our respective organisations, we consulted with a range of stakeholders including the Local Supervising Authority for Midwives, and the Royal College of Midwives. We met on the 5th September 2016 to jointly review the evidence we had collected, and to consider three options:

  • That midwifery students are able to return to the placement area
  • That midwifery students are able to return to the placement area only with a bespoke programme of support
  • That midwifery students are not able to return to the placement area until further specified improvements in the learning environment are evident.

The joint decision that was reached is that students are able to return to the placement area in a phased approach, with the first group of students (3rd year students only) returning towards the end of September 2016. This will be accompanied by a programme of dedicated support for both students and service staff, together with on-going evaluation of the placement learning environment. We have committed to review this decision in December 2016.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the teaching and maternity service staff who have all worked to ensure that the learning experience of midwifery students has been disrupted as little as possible.

Publication date: 8 September 2016