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Practice issues

From time to time Council publishes statements or papers relating to issues affecting midwifery.

The midwifery scope of practice statement is the legally gazetted description of the role and work of the midwife in New Zealand.

Children’s worker safety checking information

From 1 July 2015 new government safety checking regulations required under the Vulnerable Children’s Act (2014) came into effect. Midwives and student midwives are subject to the safety checking requirements.

Full details of the safety checking and child protection policy requirements can be found on the Ministry of Health website or by clicking here.

While many employed midwives and students will have this checking process completed through their employer or place of education, the Ministry of Health has contracted CV Check (NZ) Ltd to carry out safety checks for Lead Maternity Carer midwives funded under the Section 88 Primary Maternity Notice.  A fact sheet and link to CV Check (NZ) Ltd can also be found on the Ministry website. This document provides information for midwives regarding the process of obtaining a Children’s Worker Safety Check.

This is a link to a new document on the Ministry of Health's website that has a step by step guide for midwives about the safety checking process.

Prescribing

Reminder to all midwives regarding documentation requirements for prescriptions

Section 41 of the Medicines Regulations 1984 describes the form that a prescription must take. This includes that the prescription must  

“a) be legibly and indelibly printed; and

b) be signed personally by the prescriber with his usual signature (not being a facsimile or other stamp), and dated”;  

What this means in practice is that midwives must personally sign the prescription.  The Council understands that some midwives may use a digital signature on their prescriptions however this is not an option available to midwives under the current legal framework. As a refresher on the legal requirements of a prescription please refer to the Medicines Regulations which can be found here Medicines Regulations 1984

Medsafe has published an alert communication on the use of tramadol during breastfeeding in July.  Its expert advisory committee considered that it may be helpful for midwives and general practitioners to be made aware of this alert communication. The College of Midwives has issued the very helpful Prescribing Information Reminder and Medsafe Alert re Codeine and Tramadol on the prescribing of controlled drugs and of tramadol, and on the use of tramadol and codeine during breastfeeding.

ACC, the Ministry of Health, the Health Quality & Safety Commission, and Foetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome New Zealand (FACS NZ) have worked with 15 clinicians and consumer advocates to create and distribute booklets for health professionals and women on the risks and benefits of antiepileptic medication for pregnant women.  It is important to remember that antiepileptic medicine is used to treat not just epilepsy, but also pain and mood regulation The booklets can be found  at ACC Supporting Treatment Safety

In 2014 changes occurred to legislation which impact on midwives' ability to prescribe controlled drugs.  This presentation provides information on the Medicines Amendment Act 2013 and the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations 2014 and how they will impact on midwifery practice.

The Council's statement on the prescription of controlled medicines by midwives can be found here. Further information on prescribing.

Other Practice Issues

  • The Council's Statement on support and the role of the midwife discusses those instances where the midwife has handed over care of a woman but they remain in the clinical environment under the stance that they are "supporting the woman". The Council's position is that when a midwife is with a woman in a clinical context, she is always in attendance as a midwife.
  • The Be Safe paper on Documentation and record keeping sets out the Council's expectations of the standard expected of midwives in these matters. Midwives have found the Documentation and Record Keeping Audit Tool useful in self or peer assessing their documentation and record keeping skills.
  • Expressions of interest for Mentors for internationally qualified midwives including guidelines and personal specifications for those interested. Please contact Sharron Cole or Sue Calvert for more information.
  • South Pacific Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Alliance meets every two years and brings togethersenior regulators, edcuators and practitioners to discuss and plan effective programmes for south Pacific countries.
  • A statement from the Department of Internal Affairs about increasing early and correct birth registrations.
  • Guidelines on transmissible major blood borne infections.
  • Helpful articles about ways to improve the working relationship between midwives and pharmacists and script writing.
  • The ACC Neonatal Encephalopathy Taskforce has been working on a long term strategy to reduce the number of NE cases in New Zealand by targeting avoidable neonatal encephalopathy. The Taskforce’s first newsletter gives information about its composition, strategy and initiatives and details on regional workshops.
  • Council statement on the midwife's scope of practice with regard to assessment and diagnosis of tongue tie and the practice of frenotomy April 2016.
  • If you intend to go into self-employed practice, you must apply for a contract under the Primary Maternity Services Notice (Section 88). This is administered by Sector Operations, Ministry of Health. You must also obtain an access agreement with your local DHB or any primary birthing facilities. The agreement application and access agreement are available on the Primary Maternity Services website.

 

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Children’s worker safety checking information

From 1 July 2015 new government safety checking regulations required under the Vulnerable Children’s Act (2014) came into effect. Midwives and student midwives are subject to the safety checking requirements.

Full details of the safety checking and child protection policy requirements can be found on the Ministry of Health website or by clicking h...

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