RCM urges government for ‘total commitment’ in battle against midwifery workforce crisis

If the number of NHS midwives in England had increased at a comparable rate as the overall healthcare workforce since the last general election, there would not be a shortage in the specialty, says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

The findings come from the organisation’s new report into the state of maternity services, which further found there would be 3,100 more midwives as opposed to the 2,500 shortfall if recruitment had matched other parts of the workforce.

More complex needs, such as spiking levels of obesity in pregnancy and a jump in the number of older women having babies, mean maternity services are asked to do more according to the report.

The royal college goes on to highlight the need for a renewed focus retention, citing the lack of impact more student midwives is having due to many experienced members of staff also leaving.

                                                                          Video credit: Canva

The organisation highlights expanded flexible working schemes, improved development opportunities and combatting poor workplace cultures all as ways the NHS can improve retention for midwives.

“The Government has promised much with the plan and we will be watching to make sure they honour those promises,” said the RCM’s executive director midwife, Birte Harlev-Lam, on the recently published NHS long term workforce plan.

“Working partnership – the profession and policy-makers – we can make things better.”

The new report follows shortly after the RCM released survey findings last month which indicated that midwives work 100,000 for free each week on the NHS to make sure women are safe.

Harlev-Lam continued: “Women and maternity staff deserve nothing less than total commitment from the Government to once and for all end this crisis. This means giving maternity services the resources needed now, and long into the future.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all