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Midwifery placements

Our Midwifery (BMidwif) students go on a range of practice placements as part of their training.

You will develop your midwifery skills, working regularly with midwives who have undergone additional training to enable them to support, teach and assess students.

Range of placements

We have excellent relationships with our NHS Trust partners, who provide placements including:

  • community midwifery
  • antenatal clinics
  • day care
  • delivery suites
  • midwifery-led birth centres
  • antenatal and postnatal wards
  • neonatal special care
  • short experiences in gynaecological and medical settings.

You will also visit or work with a range of other specialist services.

Hours

Teaching and supervision in practice is provided by a midwife, trained to support and assess students' learning. You will usually be expected to work the same shifts as your mentor(s). Shift times vary. These examples are for guidance only:

  • Early shift - 07:15 to 15:30
  • Late shift - 13:00 to 21:30
  • Night duty - 19:00 to 08:00
  • Long day - 07:00 to 20:00

Many NHS Trusts have a two-shift system to cover the 24-hour period. Students are expected to work nights and weekends, but this will vary from placement to placement, depending on your mentors' work pattern.

The more flexible you can be about when you work, the more you will be able to work with your mentor and the better your learning experiences are likely to be. A request for a day off for a special occasion is usually accommodated.

During some placements, you may be expected to be 'on call' alongside your mentor. All clinical hours are recorded. We have stringent attendance policies to meet NMC requirements.

Applicants should carefully consider their ability to meet the demands of travelling to placements, working shifts and completing the rigorous study requirements of the course. An off-duty pattern for a student might look like this:

 MonTuesWedThursFridaySatSun
Week 1 Long Long Day off Uni* Uni Day off Day off
Week 2 Day off Day off Day off Uni Uni Long Long
Week 3 Uni Uni Uni Uni Day off Day off Day off
Week 4 Early Late Early Uni Uni Day off Day off
Week 5 Day off Day off Day off Uni Uni Night Night
Week 6 Night Night Day off Day off Night Night Day off

*Note that university days vary in each year of the course.

Locations

Community midwifery placements are often some distance from the hospital services. For example, students placed at St Mary’s Hospital may have community placements across the Salford area and students placed in Stockport maternity services may experience rural midwifery in the High Peak area.

You will normally complete your Year 1 placements in one NHS Trust and then complete placements in Years 2 and 3 in another (subject to NHS placement provision).

Undertaking placements in two different localities has been positively evaluated by our students. Feedback has shown it provides a wider experience of cultural diversity, a deeper understanding of the different ways NHS services are provided and greater confidence when applying for newly qualified midwife posts.

We do not offer a choice of clinical placements, but will take account of your term-time address and transport plans as we allocate students to placement sites. However, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in your closest maternity service.

You should carefully consider the time and financial costs of travelling to placement. Our policy allows students to be placed at sites up to 1.5 hours' journey away from the University. Students travelling from outside of Manchester may well have longer journeys.

Currently, most students undertake placements in the following NHS Trusts (subject to changes in the Maternity Services and NHS Agreements):

  • Wythenshawe Hospital (South Manchester, M23 9LT);
  • St Mary's Hospital (Central Manchester, M13 9WL);
  • Tameside General Hospital (Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL6 9RW);
  • North Manchester General Hospital (North Manchester, M8 5RB);
  • Royal Oldham Hospital, (Oldham, OL1 2HJ);
  • Stepping Hill Hospital (Stockport, SK2 7JE);
  • High Peak Area (Buxton, SK17 9NJ) - first-year placements only.

Other placement areas may become available. We also work closely with other universities using the same NHS Trusts for student placements.

A useful journey planner enabling you to assess what your journey might be like when travelling to a site using public transport can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website. The University's postcode is M13 9PL.

You can see a map showing the location of some of our placement providers:

Holidays

There will be seven timetabled weeks of holidays per year. This includes ten days in lieu of bank holidays. The holidays are set for the three years and are not negotiable.

It is common practice for students to have the Christmas and New Year weeks as holiday. We also expect to offer students two weeks' annual leave during the main summer holidays.

No holidays should be booked until the leave dates have been confirmed. No holidays should be booked other than during the set holiday weeks.

Attendance

The NMC requires students to complete the full course prior to professional registration. This means that any days missed for any reason (sickness, absence, compassionate leave) must be made up before the course is considered to have been completed.

Some missed lectures may be made up by providing evidence of relevant private study. Unauthorised absence may be considered a justification for referral to the Health and Conduct or Fitness to Practice Committees.

Uniform requirements

Initial sets of uniforms (dresses or tunics and trousers) are supplied by the University and must be worn correctly as per university and hospital policy. Students are responsible for washing their own uniforms. If necessary, replacement outfits may be bought at a reasonable cost. You will need to supply your own work shoes, which must be plain black, flat, soft-soled and offer good foot support and protection.

NHS Trust uniform policies must be followed and this includes being bare below the elbows when working clinically in order to abide by infection control policies for the protection of mothers and babies.

NHS uniform policies also require that staff working in client-focused environments must have their faces visible and uncovered.

Learning and assessment in clinical practice

After eight weeks in university, you will start your first placement in mid-November, facilitating the application of learning to the real world of midwifery practice.

There will be a mixture of university weeks and practice weeks, but most weeks will include two days in University and two or three days in practice.

When working in clinical practice, you will be closely supervised and supported by your midwives. These midwives have completed a training course equipping them to teach and assess students.

Their role is to:

  • discuss your learning needs with you;
  • identify what learning experiences you need and help you access these;
  • teach and supervise you as you develop your skills;
  • review your progress and give you feedback;
  • assess your skill development;
  • liaise with other midwives and your university tutors.

Your allocated midwife will not necessarily be able to work with you every day, but should work with you regularly. Sometimes, midwives share the role of supporting you, or it may be necessary for you to work with a new midwife if the previous one is sick or has been moved to another area. In some placements, a team support system is in use.

Clinical placements are planned to enable students to acquire and demonstrate the skills and knowledge necessary for safe and effective midwifery practice. The clinical assessment process is designed to enable you to revisit and continually develop your clinical skills, building both your competence and confidence.