RCM Conference 2024

The Royal College of Midwives annual conference took place on the 8th and 9th of May this year, hosted in Liverpool at the ACC Arena. It is always free for members to attend, whilst non-members can still attend but have a ticket charge. 

The theme was "energising excellence". The hope is that observing local practices can then inspire national implementation into clinical practice for sustained and effective changes. It’s a great way to meet other colleagues and network, whilst also supporting education and disseminating research.

The conference had a busy and full on schedule, based around three rooms each with their own stream of lectures to fully individualise the programme to your own needs and passions. There was also a number of short presentations within the exhibition area, where many maternity related companies showcased their products or services. Similarly, there was also a small hallway set up for poster presentations as well. 
I found it quite difficult to pick my own schedule because there was a lot of topics I was interested in and many of them unfortunately overlapped. I think it would have been better if all the presentations at least started at the same time, instead of 10 - 20 minutes apart. I felt terrible at times, leaving one presentation 10 minutes early, or arriving at one 10 minutes late. My schedule for the two days looked a little like this. 

Day 1:  
  • 1045 1145 A - Chief Midwife
  • 1135 1225 B - BF
  • 1215 1315 A - Inequalities 
  • 1300 1350 C - Leadership
  • 1340 1440 A - Futureproofing
  • 1445 - 1500 LUNCH
  • 1500 1600 A - Trauma
  • 1645 1730 A - Warzone
Day 2: 
  • 0930 1030 A - Mental health
  • 1035 - Exhibitions
  • 1050 1150 A - Leadership
  • 1150 1240 B - Bereavement 
  • 1210 1310 A - Surrogacy
  • 1315 1335 RCM STAND - Director of midwifery programme
  • 1340 LUNCH
  • 1350 1450 A - Retention
  • 1500 1530 A - Close
There was a couple of other sessions I was quite interested in, but unfortunately they overlapped so I was unable to attend, on Pelvic Health and some of the research abstracts, including one of newborn examinations in ethnic minorities. Sadly, due to the overlap I didn't get to attend these but nevertheless, the ones I did attend, were good and I took lots of notes. 

The two most powerful ones, were less so about learning and more so about opportunity and emotional connection. I physically cried during both the Working Midwife in a Warzone and Surrogacy talks. It was very moving to see the families and how they are affected in both situations, even though they are incredibly different. 

As I mentioned, there was also a number of poster presentations, some of these were very intriguing and I took down the contacts for a few, including one of PMAs and Hyponatraemia. I also really enjoyed talking to a number of the exhibitionists. There were some I was very familiar with - RCM, MIDIRS, The Practicing Midwifery Journal etc - and then other's that were either new, or new to the midwifery field and so I'm excited to link these up with other colleagues to hopefully support them at being implemented into the trust. 
Overall, I absolutely loved it and as usual, I cannot wait to go back again next year!