Two leading UK charities dedicated to improving maternity care today announced their official merger.
MIDIRS, a key provider of innovative and evidence-based information resources for maternity health care professionals and students, and NCT, the UK’s foremost charity for parents which champions user involvement in both maternity services and maternity research, have long since shared similar values and objectives.
By coming together the charities hope to make significant improvements to maternity care, facilitate greater awareness of choice and ensure that pregnant women, new parents and their babies receive a positive birth experience.
News of the merge arrives on International Day of the Midwife, which this year sees thousands of midwives across the world demonstrating a commitment to tackling global inequalities in maternal and newborn mortality and highlighting local issues in midwifery service provision – a pledge that lies close to the heart of MIDIRS and NCT’s shared mission.
Andy Fisher, MIDIRS Business Manager since 1999 and a key influence throughout the merge process said ‘This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work for both organisations. We are delighted to be working more closely with NCT and to finally start moving forward to achieve our shared goals. The combined strength and skills of both organisations presents a fantastic opportunity to provide a stronger and more effective service for all health professionals involved in maternity care, for pregnant women their families and carers.
‘Current subscribers to MIDIRS and NCT will benefit from greater opportunities including increased access to the resources of both organisations and improved efficiency through shared overheads, meaning we can keep our services as cost effective as possible.
From the outside subscribers to our services will see no changes, with MIDIRS retaining its own branding and products for health care professionals and students. But the merge gives us the opportunity to achieve important strategic objectives ultimately aimed at improving maternity care for the benefit of mothers, fathers and babies’.
Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive of NCT since 1999 said ‘This partnership brings obvious benefits to health professionals in meeting the needs of women and families. Both NCT and MIDIRS have always worked hard to ensure that we are trusted sources of evidence-based information which parents can call on and health care professionals can rely on in their practice. Our merge makes it even easier now for professionals to find what they need and pass that on to help more parents in the earliest days, weeks and months of family life’.
‘NCT already offers a range of support and services to parents and to health professionals and this merger broadens that offer. Our training, support services offered under contract and our range of resources for professionals to use in their practice already support thousands of new families every year’.
MIDIRS and NCT so far
Since December 2008, MIDIRS Midwifery Digest has been distributed with a copy of Perspective: the NCT publication for parent-centred midwifery, to MIDIRS database of over 8500 subscribers. From February 2010, NCT’s 2000 strong network of students and qualified antenatal teachers, breastfeeding counsellors and postnatal leaders have also benefited from access to MIDIRS online subscription service. Looking ahead, there are plans for the two organisations to work together to develop more visible products for consumers as well as resources for education and training.