Cheyne H, McNeill J, Hunter B & Bick D (2011) United but divided? The need to consider the potential consequences of devolved UK government on midwifery education and practice. Midwifery, 27 (6), pp. 770-774. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2011.09.008
The health policy setting in which midwives practice is rapidly changing as the philosophy, structure and funding of the NHS across the four countries of the UK becomes increasingly diverse. Recent headlines have predicted the break-up of the National Health Service (NHS) in England (Lancet, 2011 and Pollock, 2011), and have highlighted that the devolution of the United Kingdom (UK) government is having an impact on the NHS far beyond what was anticipated at its introduction in 1999 (Greer, 2004, Brimelow, 2011 and Royal College of Midwives Communities, 2011). Within the UK, all relevant stakeholders including clinicians, educators, policy, service commissioning and service user representatives should be aware of the changing political landscape and the effect this may have on the provision of high quality maternity care across the UK. In this commentary we highlight some of the similarities and differences in the NHS across the four UK countries and reflect on some of the possible impacts on midwifery education and practice.
Midwifery: Volume 27, Issue 6