Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Birthrights’ Response to Findings from Independent Review Into NMC (UK Nursing Regulator)

The review of the NMC undertaken by Rise Associates rightly asks how the NMC can realise its mission to protect the public when toxic cultures defined by behaviours of racism, bullying and discrimination continue across parts of the organisation.

When the body charged with overseeing and upholding safe practice across nursing and midwifery is itself found to be perpetuating toxic cultures against its staff and those it is tasked with regulating, how can we be expected to trust in its position as a regulator.

We know that the maternity system is in crisis and that this disproportionately impacts minoritised and marginalised communities. We also know that Black and Brown staff are disproportionately more likely to face fitness to practice proceedings.

We must have confidence that the institution charged with overseeing safe practice is itself aware of what safe practice really looks like.

Instead, we can see from this review that those who do pose a danger to the public are allowed to continue practicing and those who are trying to put the rights of women and birthing people first may be unfairly penalised. Birthrights will continue to advocate for a system where staff are safe to speak out and raise concerns about breaches in the fundamental human rights of women and birthing people.

If you are concerned about the maternity care you are receiving and believe your rights are not being respected you can contact Birthrights advice and information team.

Birthrights also delivers training to those who design, deliver, manage and regulate maternity care to increase awareness and understanding of how Human Rights law applies to maternity care and why this is critical to the delivery of safe care. 

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