Protocols, policy directives and choice provision: UK midwives' views

Caroline J. Hollins Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Within maternity hospitals midwives are expected to follow the protocol-driven culture and orders issued by senior staff. Simultaneously, midwives are expected to follow social policy documents and the Midwives Rules and Standards that advocate choice provision for childbearing women. Quality assurors and auditors of clinical practice need to be aware that these two directives sometimes clash. Allegiance to a hierarchical system driven by protocols and orders from the top down, at the same time as providing “woman-centred” care is often unattainable. In order for a midwife to action the woman's choice, resourceful thinking may be required. This paper aims to examine this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • hospital protocols
  • midwives
  • UK
  • social policy


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