Concerns about a midwife

Most midwives are competent, conscientious, and professional in the way they practise but on some occasions things can go wrong.

The Council’s role is to protect the health and safety of members of the public. The Council is bound by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 and part three is about fitness to practise. The Council carries out this role by considering the competence (performance), health or conduct of a midwife and then decides whether the midwife should have to comply with certain conditions in order to practice. In serious cases where there is a public safety risk, the midwife may be suspended from practice.

Competence

Midwives are required to meet all competencies for the midwives’ scope of practice.
If you have reason to believe that a midwife may pose a risk of harm to the public by practising below the required standard of competence, you may be required to notify the Council.

If you are an employer, you must promptly notify the Midwifery Council if a midwife resigns or is dismissed from their employment for reasons relating to competence.
See the What must midwifery leaders do? section for more information.

If you are a health practitioner and you believe that a midwife may pose a risk of harm to the public by practising below the required standard of competence, you may notify the Council of your concerns.

A notification must be in writing to the Registrar and include the reasons why you believe that the midwife poses a risk of harm to the public. A tool for you to complete is found (link)

Health

It is important that you notify Midwifery Council if you have reason to believe that a Midwife is unable to practise safely due to a health condition. A health condition can be a mental or physical impairment and may include a condition or impairment caused by alcohol or substance use disorders.
You must notify the Midwifery Council if you have reason to believe that a Midwife is unable to perform the functions of a Midwife, due to a health condition, and you are:
  • someone in charge of an organisation that provides health services
  • a health practitioner
  • an employer of health practitioners
  • a medical officer of health.

Every Midwife is asked to declare whether they have a health condition when applying for an annual practising certificate (APC). If you are a Midwife with a health condition and believe that this may affect your ability to practise, you must inform the Midwifery Council. Please log into your MyMCANZ portal and complete the health disclosure form there.

You do not have to declare health conditions that are temporary or do not affect your ability to practise.
You must also notify the Council if you are in charge of a Midwifery educational programme in New Zealand and you have reason to believe that a student would be unable to perform the functions of a Midwife due to a health condition.

All notifications must be in writing using the online tool below.
For further information on the Health process please see the information booklet, A Midwives Health in the Downloadable Resources bar.

Conduct

Health and Disability Commissioner
If you are a health consumer (pregnant or woman who has had a baby) and wish to make a complaint about a midwife you may prefer to contact the Health and Disability Commissioner. The Commissioner may decide to investigate the complaint or may refer the complaint to the Council to investigate.

Raising a concern

If you choose to complain directly to the Council, please complete the online tool below.
If you want to discuss your concerns further before deciding to complete the form, then please call our Midwifery Advisor on 04 499 5040.
Click here to view the form to raise a concern about a midwife.