Grace Academy of Midwifery and Birth

Independent midwifery services and training for midwives, birthworkers and parents

Midwifery: Legal Aspects of Practice

Sarah, Andy, Teddy and Daisy. Nicky is doing the first examination of Teddy in mum's arms.
Why midwifery matters. Sarah, Teddy, Andy and Daisy.

Thank you to everyone who made this study day such a success on 14th December 2016. More dates will be added when venues and speakers have been arranged.
This study day is for independent registered midwives wishing to practice autonomous midwifery and support women’s choices within a legal framework of human rights. Midwives will be given the tools to maintain their professional integrity, support women and provide inspiration to others within what can feel like a risk- and fear-based maternity culture.

Childbirth is inherently unpredictable and we need to acknowledge that sometimes investigations will occur. This day will give you a better understanding of investigatory procedures and what you should do in order to accurately demonstrate the care that you gave – rather than allow others to draw inferences which may not be accurate. Even where birth outcomes are good and the client is happy, investigations and disciplinary action can still be taken by regulatory authorities if medical records are deemed to be inadequate, so we will pay special attention to the maintenance of excellent clinical records which meet the NMC Code requirements.

We look at principles of law that can be applied in different circumstances, and at real-life anonymised cases so you have the opportunity to ask our experts what is the best approach to maximise the woman’s rights, while ensuring you are protected from disciplinary action and litigation.

The aim of the day is for you to leave feeling optimistic, empowered and confident about your practice as an autonomous, independent midwife.


Nicky Grace is the facilitator for the day and is a practising independent midwife. Nicky is passionate about supporting and empowering midwives so they in turn can support and empower childbearing women. She is a very experienced group facilitator and teacher.

Johanna Rhys-Davies is a barrister who for 9 years focused on representing vulnerable adults; domestic violence survivors and asylum seekers. In 2009 she gave birth to her son and the maternity care she received profoundly impacted on her life. She became active at local level on her MSLC and formed a grassroots campaign group in Yorkshire to inform, educate and support improvements to maternity provision, including infant feeding. In 2013 she joined birthrights as an adviser and trainer. Alongside Birthrights work, She is a trustee of two other charities working to support midwifery education and breastfeeding families, and is a keen advocate for maternity rights and the retention and protection of midwifery throughout the world. She lives in real Wales with her seven year old son Bob, and spends a lot of time exploring New South Wales and New Zealand.

Paul Golden has worked with childbirth for over twenty-five years in various settings learning from situations, from colleagues and always from women and babies themselves. He continues to study and actively engage in Continuing Professional Development. He encourages and supports other midwives with their professional and personal development through Professional Supervision. He offers professional legal and regulatory support, along with Advocacy and Mediation. He has qualifications in both midwifery and the law.


Tea and coffee are provided in the breaks but lunch is not provided (there is a cafe in the building).

0900 – 0915 Registration with tea and coffee provided

0915 – 0930 Introduction by Nicky Grace, facilitator for the day.

0930 – 1230 Human rights and dignity in childbirth by Johanna Rhys-Davies

An introduction to human rights in maternity care – Choice and consent (inc Montgomery vs Lanarkshire) – Caregivers and autonomy

Tea and coffee break

Practical application of human rights principles via case studies in small groups – discussion and reporting back

How to document for choice.

1230 – 1300 Sharing experiences facilitated by Nicky Grace

1300 – 1345 Lunch (Not provided. Please either bring lunch or there is a cafe in the building.)

1400 – 1545 Supporting Midwives, Supporting Women by Paul Golden

Paul will present a workshop-style afternoon which will be tailored to participants requirements but which may cover:

Human rights in childbirth (HRIC) related to the rights of the independent midwife.

How to practice without fear from the regulatory authority (LSA, NMC or others).

How to avoid the pitfalls of innocence eg with transferring women, handing over care etc

Preventing and dealing positively with professional jealousy (referrals to the RA often come from NHS staff who may misunderstand and mistrust outside independent practitioners).

Strengthening professional boundaries with clients and others.

Is there a role for the ‘exclusion of liability waiver’? Best practice for documenting agreements in partnership with the woman.

1545 – 1600 Tea and coffee break

1600 – 1700 Documentation that reflects your excellent practice by Nicky Grace

This session pulls together the strands of the day to ensure you leave feeling confident to successfully document your autonomous midwifery practice. You will be provided with a sample set of notes which will provide helpful suggestions to enable you to accurately reflect your excellent midwifery care.

Continuing professional development hours: 6

Certificate provided for participants who complete the entire day.

All participants have the opportunity to register as members of the Grace Academy of Midwifery and Birth if they wish to benefit from ongoing support.

While every effort will be made to run the programme as advertised, unexpected issues can arise and Grace Academy reserves the right to change the programme or speakers at short notice while maintaining the essential learning points. We also reserve the right to cancel the programme in the event of insufficient numbers booking, or for any other reason. If the session is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund.

If you are not a member of IMUK please contact Nicky at before purchasing a ticket. Many thanks.



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