Introduction to the Standards
MUNet aims to promote and support the implementation, development and growth of midwifery units. We want midwifery units to become the main care pathway for healthy women with straightforward pregnancies.
We have worked with the European Midwives Association (EMA) to develop the Midwifery Unit Standards, to provide the quality assurance necessary to scale up the implementation of midwifery units across Europe. The Standards aim to improve the quality of maternity care, reduce variability in practice and facilitate a bio-psycho-social model of care.
The Midwifery Unit Standards are designed for providers of midwifery unit care to self-assess their provision against key quality criteria and to plan service improvements.
The Standards can be used by anyone who is setting up, running, or working in a midwifery unit. They are also relevant for those who are responsible for the organisation of national, regional and local health services and allocating resources; and also for those providing support to a midwifery unit, such as ambulance services and obstetric unit clinicians and service managers.
You can download a copy of the Midwifery Unit Standards here
MUNet supports and promotes midwifery units throughout Europe. We want midwifery units to become a mainstream option for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy, providing holistic care to them and their family.
For women and families to have positive childbirth experiences that enhance their physical and psychological wellbeing and give their babies an optimal start in life.
To support and promote the development and growth of midwifery units (birth centres) throughout Europe so they become the main care pathway for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy, proving holistic care to them and their family. To make midwifery units an easily accessible, mainstream option for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and their partners, through research, policy, leadership, quality improvement, training, influencing, information, support and networking activities.
- holistic care that provides for both physical and social and psychological needs
- care that is both woman-centred and addresses the needs of the baby and wider family
- care that is both safe and acknowledges women’s autonomy, and is kind and personalised
- positive birthing environments for women and for midwives
- collaboration and co-design between midwives, medical staff, communities, commissioning, research and policymaking
- knowledge of physiology, biopsychosocial interactions, and their impact on the processes labour, birth and breastfeeding
- using best quality evidence to inform decision-making and appropriate use of interventions
- education, sharing of information and expertise and mutual learning.
Published research on midwifery units is growing all the time. Keep up to date with must-read articles here. On our resources page you can also find examples of guidance, policy documents and toolkits; operating policies, clinical guidelines and pathways to help support your own unit.
Policymaking and Influencing:
The Midwifery Unit Network have been working with the European Midwives Association (EMA) to influence the implementation of maternity policies that promote the safety and health of women and their babies and access to evidence-based maternity care.
The Midwifery Unit Standards:
We want midwifery units to become the main care pathway for healthy women with straightforward pregnancies. We have worked with the European Midwives Association (EMA) to develop the Midwifery Unit Standards, to provide the quality assurance necessary to scale up the implementation of midwifery units across Europe. The Standards aim to improve the quality of maternity care, reduce variability in practice and facilitate a bio-psycho-social model of care. You can find out more and download the Standards here.
The Birth Centre Beacon Sites programme showcases influential midwifery units, providing a gold standard of care. In 2018, three NHS trusts were awarded Beacon Site status, and committed to helping others learn from their experience. You can find out more about our Beacon Sites here.
The Midwifery Unit Academy offers high quality training for those opening and sustaining midwifery units. Online and offline modules are available on topics such as XXXXX. Click here for more details of upcoming courses.
Leadership and consultancy:
We support leaders to inspire change by providing information and evidence and facilitating conversation. Our workshops and events bring together maternity leaders from across Europe to learn from each other and share best practice.
Research and evidence are at the core of our work. In collaboration with the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research at City, University of London the Midwifery Unit Network has been active in influential research since its creation. NICE Birthplace Action Study Midwifery Unit Support for Excellence Pathway (MUSE)-Pathway NICE/NHS decision aids