Following “significant ongoing engagement with Canterbury Christ Church University over serious concerns” the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) had with the delivery of its midwifery programme, and having reviewed a wide range of evidence, in February 2023 the NMC informed the university of its initial decision to withdraw approval.

The NMC wrote on its website:

“Our process required the university to provide assurances within a month that our standards were being met. Having reviewed the university’s submission, we have now made a final decision.

“While we acknowledge that some progress has been made since February, we are not assured that the midwifery programme run by Canterbury Christ Church University is meeting the required NMC standards. We’re concerned that the university, in partnership with the NHS trusts that provide placements for its students, is not equipping midwifery students to meet our requirements. In particular we are concerned about students not gaining the skills and expertise to deliver safe, effective and kind care when they join our register.”

That means, from 10 May 2023, the midwifery programme will no longer lead to registration as a midwife in the UK. This doesn’t stop the university seeking fresh approval of a programme against our standards in the future.

Sam Foster, Executive Director of Professional Practice at the NMC, said:

“After very careful consideration, and in the best interests of women, babies, and families, we’ve made a final decision to withdraw approval of the midwifery programme at Canterbury Christ Church University.

“We understand this is a significant decision which will have a huge impact on the students affected and the local workforce. However, as the UK’s midwifery regulator, our role is to protect the public and uphold the high standards of midwifery practice that women and families have the right to expect.

“Our standards set out the proficiencies every midwife must have from the time they graduate and join our register. We work with education institutions to ensure students are appropriately supported and trained to provide high-quality care. We can withdraw approval when we’re no longer assured these standards are being met.

“Our full attention now turns to working with the university and NHS England on plans to support the affected students to continue their education at another institution.”

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