Hundreds of midwives in the South held vigils over the weekend in a plea to the government to take action as they feel maternity care is in a time of crisis.
Staff shortages and ‘critically unsafe’ conditions are making those within the profession feel undervalued and underappreciated.
Figures have shown that for every 30 new midwives trained within the profession, 29 either leave or never start to begin with despite the governments push to recruit and train over 1,200 more midwives.
Jon Skewes, Royal College of Midwives (RCM) executive director for external relations, in reference to a survey they did, which suggested that more than half of midwives are looking to leave their jobs, said: “For years, maternity services have been operating with too few staff and inadequate resources.
“NHS Trusts and Boards have relied on the goodwill of staff, and their genuine love of what they do, to maintain services – but staff are reaching the end of their tether.
“Staff are frankly exhausted; many feel like they have nothing left to give – and services are suffering as a result. We’re grateful to March with Midwives for highlighting the work we have been doing to get politicians and policy makers to pay attention to this untenable situation.”
It is planned that a March for Midwives vigil will be held in every town that has a maternity ward across the UK.
A recent survey by Unison, found that 60 per cent of nurses and midwives starting out in their careers have considered leaving the profession due to work pressures, stress and anxiety about their role.
This was further supported by the annual staff survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) which also showed that around 60 per cent of midwives considered leaving their jobs.
Amongst those supporting the campaign are current serving midwives, ex and retired midwives and student midwives who are yet to experience the pressures but want to see change within the workforce.