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Collaborative working


Effective collaboration is essential to provide good all-round care for women. Whilst the midwife is the expert in normality during the childbirth continuum, even for a woman under midwifery-led care, there are additional professionals and teams that can provide extra support and skills to women. This is even more evident when a woman has complex needs such as pre-existing health conditions, additional vulnerabilities, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, or perhaps develops complications during the course of her pregnancy.

Learning objectives

The ability to work effectively and to refer appropriately are essential skills for a midwife. On completion of this resource you should have an understanding of:

  • What collaborative working means in theory and practice
  • Why midwives should work collaboratively
  • How collaborative working impacts on care.
  • The key policy drives and documents underpinning collaborative working


Professional issues, communication, role of the midwife, collaboration, team working

Recommended reading

DH (2009). Delivering high quality midwifery care: the priorities, opportunities and challenges for midwives. London: DH. 

Gardner DB (2005). ‘Ten lessons in collaboration’. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 10(1). 

King’s Fund (2012). Improvement safety in maternity services toolkit: team working, London: King’s Fund. 

Midwifery 2020 (2010). Core role of the midwife, London: Crown. 

NMC (2012). Midwives rules and standards, London: NMC.

NMC (2015). The Code – standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. London: NMC.

Questions at the end of this resource will enable you to assess your knowledge and reflect on how you can incorporate it into your own practice. In the following questions, please select the answer that you believe to be correct. This will be marked and then you can move on to the next question. If you wish, at the end you can return for a further attempt at the questions.

Upon completion of the module, you will be able to download and save or print a certificate to include in your CPD/ revalidation portfolio.