Bradshaw, M.G. and Bradshaw, Peter L. (1997) Changing childbirth-the midwifery managers' tale. Journal of Nursing Management, 5 (3). pp. 143-149. ISSN 0966-0429

This paper concerns Maternity Services. It begins by describing the development of the current policy in Britain which culminated in the report Changing Childbirth. It proceeds to describe a qualitative investigation in which a group of Heads of Midwifery Service in one health region were interviewed concerning their views about the basic recommendations of the report and their experiences concerning the feasibility of its implementation by 1998. On the basis of its evidence, the study concludes the policy is failing to be fully realized due to both a lack of earmarked resources and confused objectives which are not fully accepted by professionals and are not understood by service users. The findings demonstrate that the Heads of Midwifery believe that what was proposed as a bold and innovative policy has become no more than lukewarm advice. The conduct of the study is described in detail to illustrate how operational managers can research the ways in which policies are influencing service delivery in their field of practice.

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