Your Chance To Tell The RCM What’s What!!

I post regularly about research opportunities, and why I believe it’s vital that we have our say and make sure our voices are heard. We can’t do much to mend our own poor experiences, but we can at least hopefully make a difference for people who use services after us, if we speak up about them? It’s a *form* of healing, or at least, it is for me…! At the moment, the RCM is offering a unique opportunity, and I want to recommend Big Birthas get involved.

Instead of giving your perspective on an individual topic, the RCM want to know what should be their top 10 priorities for research in the coming years. It could be anything midwifery and maternity care related! What is important to you?

They are asking maternity professionals for their input too, but they’re very keen to hear from women and birthing people themselves, and not only them, they want husbands and partners to fill in the survey, extended family members, independent birth professionals like doulas and lactation consultants, advocates and more!

Royal College of Midwives branded banner with a lightbulb on it and the words "Influence the future of research"

Why is the RCM doing this piece of work?

This project is important as maternity research receives less funding than many other areas of healthcare. The RCM is bringing together a range of stakeholders to discover the gaps in evidence across all areas of midwifery practice and maternity care and to agree which are the most important for future research to address. The final top 10 research priorities will be championed by the RCM and other organisations in order to influence funders and policy makers. 

from the Research Prioritisation Project page

This project is an exciting opportunity to come together and influence the future of UK midwifery and maternity research. The optimum outcome is that the priorities we identify are funded and turned into research studies. This will have a direct impact on the experience of women and birthing people during their maternity care. It will also of course impact midwives and maternity support workers and maternity services more widely. ​ 

This is being done in partnership with the James Lind Alliance, a non-profit organisation, and this will ensure that a rigorous, systematic and transparent process will be followed. ​

What are the objectives and/or scope?

The objectives are:   

  • To influence funding bodies, such as the NIHR, to fund more midwifery and maternity research
  • To influence policy makers about relevant gaps in evidence
  • Build networks within maternity healthcare
  • Encourage midwives to take part in a consensus building exercise with a research focus
  • Support midwifery researchers to identify topics, including those applying to the RCM Wellbeing
    of Women award and the Iolanthe Trust Jean Davies award
  • Above all, we anticipate that it will improve midwifery and maternity care for women, birth
    people and their families.

Want to know more?

Click here to got to the Research Prioritisation Project page on the RCM website.

Click here to be taken to the relevant page on the James Lind Alliance website.

To sign up to receive project updates click here.

If you need more info, Jenny and Jude, the project leads, can be contacted at researchpriorities@rcm.org.uk  

Thinking about this kind of thing can bring up difficult memories

Completion of the survey may bring up difficult or uncomfortable memories. The project leads have curated a list of organisations that provide support if needed, click here to download it.

You can also look at the full list of Project Partner logos (at the bottom of the project page) to find other organisations that may be able to provide you with specialist support… Ooooh look, Bigbirthas.co.uk is on it! Alternatively, or in addition, you can contact the maternity service who provided your care.  Planning on posting an article soon on requesting a ‘birth reflections’ meeting… so watch this space!

Leave a reply here to get involved!