MRNN AND MIDWIFERY CONSORTIUM
The department of Midwifery Science at AVAG works together with the Royal Dutch Organization of Midwives (KNOV) and the midwifery training establishments in the Netherlands (AVAG, AVM, VAR and the MSc in Midwifery at the University of Amsterdam and AMC) in het Midwifery Research Network Netherlands (MRNN). This network has been set up to facilitate and harmonize the collection of data concerning the first-line midwifery practices in the Netherlands.
The network is intended to make it easier for academic researchers to perform research in midwifery practices, to enable more midwives to become involved in academic research and to ensure that all midwifery practices in the Netherlands participate fairly regularly in academic research. This will allow research work to be spread over all practices – not just the ones that happen to be located near a teaching hospital. Click here to visit the MRNN website.
AVAG has nominated three Research Midwives (Eva Alblas from Amsterdam and Mirjam van Lohuizen and Marianne van den Hof from Groningen) to work for MRNN. One vacancy remains to be filled.
You can contact them at the following E-mail addresses for further details:
MRNN is part of the Midwifery Consortium, in which the various midwifery training establishments work together with KNOV, the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO, the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research NIVEL and the Jan van Es Institute to promote midwifery research in the Netherlands and thus enhance the quality of obstetric care. The Consortium also works together with other bodies in the perinatal care sector such as the Verloskundig Consortium (Obstetric Consortium). In concrete terms, the Midwifery Consortium is engaged in the following activities:
A network of academic midwifery practices
Dutch GPs have their own academic networks, and municipal health services have their own academic workshops. Similarly, the Midwifery Consortium aims to help Dutch midwifery practices to contribute to research and to develop into academic practices which help to formulate research questions, translate them into research proposals and work together with researchers from the Consortium to find funding for the research. Students play an active role in this process, participating in the research and transferring their knowledge to the practices. The aim is furthermore to get the network to act as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and as a source of innovation in the midwifery sector. Workshops that provide midwifery practices with practical tips for active participation in research have been held over the past two years, and work is currently under way to set up regional networks that will help to strengthen the position of midwives in regional pregnancy and birth consortia in the Netherlands.
A number of regional consortia have been set up in the Netherlands in the framework of the Pregnancy and Birth research programme of the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development ZonMw. The Midwifery Consortium supports midwives in these regional consortia, helping them to play an active role in formulating appropriate research questions and translating them into research proposals. The Midwifery Science department of AVAG is active in four consortia: Northern Netherlands (Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe), Overijssel (Twente and Zwolle), Amsterdam AMC (Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre) and VU University Medical Center (VUmc). We are one of the principals of the VUmc regional consortium.
The objective of the national cooperation is to harmonize the various midwifery research agendas and to develop joint initiatives. The research agenda of the KNOV and the experience gained by AVAG researchers in the DELIVER study and by researchers from the Midwifery Academy in Maastricht provide important guidelines here.
KNOV and other interested parties have set up a platform for researchers. There is an annual symposium for PhD students, where they can exchange experience with reference to a theme chosen from the field of skills development.
A delegation from the Midwifery Consortium meets the professors of Obstetrics who are all members of the HOPC (Heads of Perinatal Centres) twice a year, to discuss research agendas and promote cooperation in this field. The Pregnancy and Birth research programme of ZonMw has already made important contributions to this end.