The National Midwifery Formulary Project

Midwives can, as part of their professional remit, supply and administer some medicines to the women they care for without a prescription.  These medicines are on a list and are called Midwives Exemptions medicines.

The Midwives Exemptions list was revised in June 2010.

In response to this, and in response to requests from members of the maternity improvement forum, NHS QIS now Healthcare Improvement Scotland was asked to develop a national midwifery formulary.

Support for a national formulary in principle was given at a representative workshop in December 2009. This was attended by members of the maternity team and members of the Scottish neonatal and paediatric pharmacists’ group with an interest in obstetric medicines.

A list of medicines for which there should be monographs was agreed. A steering group was identified to oversee the process of developing a formulary for midwives, containing all the information on medicines which midwives use. The information on each medicine is contained in a separate monograph.

In December 2010 NHS QIS, now Healthcare Improvement Scotland, started to develop the monographs using expert pharmacists who had experience in developing a local formulary. These were checked for factual accuracy by an expert pharmacist with similar experience from a different NHS board. They were then set in a template agreed by a subgroup of the steering group.  

Early use of the monographs identified some amendments were necessary. The subgroup was reconvened  and improvements were agreed. A revised version was sent in March 2012.