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  4. Building relationships and trust: two key features of freestanding midwifery unit care?




Building relationships and trust: two key features of freestanding midwifery unit care?



Staff, Students, Alumni, Academics

The Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research welcomes Dr Lucia Rocca-Ihenacho from the Division of Midwifery and Radiography at City, University of London to discuss building relationships and trust in midwifery unit care.


The Barkantine Birth Centre, opened in 2008, is the first purpose built urban Freestanding Midwifery Unit (FMU) in London. It consistently achieves about 89% of spontaneous vaginal births and a similar percentage of normal births. High rates of normal birth within FMUs have also been reported nationally by the Birthplace in England Research Programme.

A knowledge gap has been identified regarding key elements of philosophy, knowledge and practice which may potentially affect the care outcomes in FMUs as well as staff wellbeing and job satisfaction. This ethnographic study aimed at contributing to knowledge and theory-generation in the arena of midwifery-led birth settings and particularly midwifery units.

This is a post-critical ethnographic study carried out by an insider researcher. Fieldwork was conducted at the FMU from April 2011 to June 2012. A total of 82 participants were recruited including staff, service users and stakeholders. The fieldwork included participant observation, semi-structured interviews, analysis of local operational procedures and guidelines. Audio recordings were transcribed verbatim and anonymised to maintain confidentiality. Analysis was conducted alongside data collection using a modified constructionist Grounded Theory approach.

The analysis generated 152 codes, which were organised into categories and subcategories. The identified categories contributed to the creation of three models which included the key characteristics of well-functioning FMUs from the view point of the midwives, women and organisation. This presentation focuses on the importance of building relationships and trust, which were identified as two key features of freestanding midwifery unit care for both midwives and service users.

About the Speaker

Dr Lucia Rocca-Ihenacho completed her PhD at City, University of London and is an NIHR Research Fellow and Lecturer in Midwifery. Lucia has been a Consultant Midwife for Public Health at the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and has experience in mentoring midwives in clinical practice from a wide range of settings from home births in London to the mountains of rural Afghanistan. She is a co-founder of the Midwifery Unit Network (MUNet) (insert web-link), which is a community of practice aimed at sharing best practices and skills around midwifery units across Europe. Lucia is currently working on a NIHR funded project: The NICE Birthplace Action study, which aims at identifying strategies for expanding the use of midwifery-led birth settings.

A light lunch with refreshments will be provided from 12:45.

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When and where

12.45pm - 2.00pmMonday 18th September 2017

MG26 Myddelton Street Building City, University of London 1 Myddelton Street London EC1R 1UW United Kingdom

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