Impact of a guideline for admission to Midwife-led units in Northern Ireland & Northern Ireland normal labour and birth care pathway

Impact: Health Impact

Description of impact

Impact from my research relating to the RQIA guideline and pathway, entitled ‘Guideline for admission to Midwife-led units (MLUs) in Northern Ireland & Northern Ireland normal labour and birth care pathway’, has grown significantly. 

Who is affected

Women and babies


I initiated, chaired and co-led with Dr Patricia Gillen (SHSCT & UU) the evidenced-based guideline which has been implemented across Northern Ireland and has received a lot of interest internationally. I recently led the submission of three research applications to RQIA: to evaluate, undertake a multinational comparative mapping and to update the guideline and pathway, findings these will further add to the Impact. Nationally, information about the guideline has been published in the 'Pregnancy Book', given to all pregnant women in Northern Ireland. Aspects of the Normal Labour and Birth Care pathway has also been integrated within the Regional Maternity Hand Held Record. International interest has arisen from publications, conference presentations, and international networking. The guideline has been recommended and cited in the Midwifery Unit Standards (2018) endorsed by the European Midwives Association and published by Midwifery Unit Network (see attached p.8). The RQIA guideline for admission to MLUs and normal labour and birth care pathway has been or is in the process of being translated into Swedish, Italian, Catalan, Spainish, German and Portuguese, by dual speaking midwives in these countries who are following the WHO recommended 'forward and back' translation approach. The intention is to build on this work with knowledge transfer workshops, to enable implementation and further develop midwife-led services within these countries. I have also been networking with colleagues in Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) (Professor Nynke van den Broek and Hannah McCauley), in relation to the possibility of introducing the guideline and pathway into Lower to Middle Income Countries with specific interest from maternity care colleagues in Nepal: Dr Laxmi Tamang – (midwife & Lead co-founder, APS Birth Centre and RH Birth Centre in Nepal, and Midwifery Society of Nepal) & Dr Geetha Rana – Obstetrician who works with UNICEF in Katmandu. Further to a meeting with LSTM colleagues in January 2019 (see attached meeting notes), we plan to seek funding to initially undertake a workshop in Nepal with key stakeholders to explore the situation on the ground and inform future project/research proposals. It was agreed that seed funding and travel grants should be explored.
Impact statusIn preparation
Impact date2016
Category of impactHealth Impact


  • midwife-led care, normal birth