In the room in the antenatal department of the Royal Oldham Hospital where midwives go to have a cup of tea (if they have time) there is an open envelope on the noticeboard. This envelope is there for midwives to post suggestions, and the wonderful thing is they can do it anonymously. This provides a facility for midwives to raise the alert about procedures they see that give them concern without the danger of victimisation or accusations of whistle blowing, and I was hugely impressed.
We know that, in the airline industry, air misses can be reported anonymously so that the powers that be have accurate information about potential risks. With that information, procedures can be put in place to improve safety.
It may be that many hospitals have a system in place like the one I saw in Oldham, but I have not noticed it before in my visits to many hospitals. If all hospitals made this facility available to midwives the women who give birth at the hospital would be the people to benefit.
We need to listen to women, and we also need to listen to midwives. A strong, autonomous midwifery profession is the guardian of normality in childbirth.