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Client-Centred Care

Development of vision, knowledge and tools to implement client-centred care in the midwifery education programme and practice
Publication date: 01 January 2015

Client-Centred Care is currently receiving great interest in midwifery care, but how do we make this notion tangible and workable?

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Current views increasingly emphasize that pregnancy and birth must be organised around the mother and (unborn) child. This way, the mother (to be) is placed at the centre of midwifery care and healthcare professionals serve the interests of the mother and child. Midwives must bear in mind the expectations, wishes and concerns of the pregnant woman and her medical and psychosocial risks even more. In this manner, health care around pregnancy and birth is based on a listening and learning organisation. This key point corresponds with the concept of Client-Centred Care. This is a concept of care in which midwives deploy their professional knowledge and expertise in the care relation with the pregnant woman who in turn is the expert of her own life, everyday circumstances, needs and abilities.

Placing mother and child at the centre of care has an influence on the role and competences of the midwife, the content of midwifery care, care management, the midwifery bachelor's degree programme as well as research. The midwifery programme, for example, is continuously developing its curriculum to adapt it to the changing role of the midwife in practice. Additionally, midwifery practice must be enhanced with new scientific views in the midwifery care field. The theoretical underpinning of the practice gets more emphasis. In this manner, the education of midwives gives the level of care an important impulse.

Experts and parties involved believe that the clarification, unambiguity and deepening of the concept of Client-Centred Care are needed. The professional profile of the midwife is based on roles and competences and there is a need for clarity as to which of these are deemed relevant for education and testing. There is a need to create a vision, intrinsic knowledge and tools in order to be able to realise Client-Centred Care as a concept in health care.

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