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Title: The role of consultant midwife : an exploration of the expectations, experiences, and intricacies
Author: Robinson, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 8959
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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Consultant nurse and midwife roles, with the expectations of significantly moving forward the professions in relation to practice development, effective leadership and quality care provision, have been a major UK policy initiative since 2000. Whilst consultant nurses have received much attention, consultant midwives have been relatively little researched. This study aimed to explore the intricacies of the consultant midwife role. Using an in-depth qualitative case study design, the roles of eight consultant midwives across eight NHS Trusts in England were studied. Data were collected via in-depth interviews with consultant midwives, their heads of maternity services and consultant obstetricians; additionally, the consultant midwives were observed in practice and documentary evidence (their job descriptions) were examined. Data were analysed thematically and aggregated, revealing three dominant themes related to clinical wisdom, taking control and shaping the future. Findings showed that the consultant midwife is in a position of power, built on a foundation of clinically acquired wisdom, transformational leadership skills and a belief in woman centred care, essential to a profession fit for the future. Individually and collectively, the consultant midwives conveyed a passion for their role, whilst aware of the demands of their position. Their impact lay in relation to the way they used their experience, skills and understanding, to undertake complex roles in practice, juggling responsibilities to effect change and improve services for childbearing women and their families. Their strength was born out of acquired knowledge and expertise, as leaders and as role models, influencing not only practice but the midwives of the future. This thesis provides the first in-depth exploration of the consultant midwife role and as such greatly strengthens the hitherto limited evidence base. As well as focusing on the particular aspects of day-to-day consultant midwifery it also gives detailed recommendations for further development of the role organisationally.
Supervisor: Lathlean, Judith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine