Beginning in April 2023 an innovative new model of midwifery care will be introduced across Northern Ireland. Continuity of Midwifery Carer (CoMC) is a transformational approach to maternity care. The model will provide women with integrated, seamless care, by the same team of midwives, through pregnancy, birth and the early parenting period.
Primary Care processes will not change. Women will be referred to maternity services via existing processes. Any woman who receives all three elements of her care (antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal) within the same Trust, is eligible. Continuity of Midwifery Carer (CoMC) is a mixed risk model for women on both universal care and additional care pathways.
There will be a gradual approach to implementation starting with one team in each Trust. When fully implemented, Continuity of Midwifery Carer will become the standard model of maternity care across Northern Ireland. The majority of pregnant women will be offered the opportunity to benefit from the new model.
Continuity of Midwifery Carer is promoted in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Maternity Standards. It reflects the importance and the benefits of relational care, as promoted by the Royal College of General Practitioners. The model aligns with Nursing and Midwifery Council standards and with strategic driving forces in Northern Ireland.
Women will be allocated a named midwife from a team of 7-8 midwives. The named midwife will be the key professional responsible for co-ordinating the woman’s care.
Women cared for in the model are more likely to be supported at this time by a midwife they know.
Some women will require care from an obstetrician or other specialist. This care will all be delivered within the new Continuity of Midwifery Carer model. This evidence-based intervention has been shown to positively impact service users’ choice, experience and satisfaction, and to reduce clinical intervention rates.
Information on Continuity of Midwifery Carer is available from lead midwives:
Benefits of this model of care