Wednesday, 9th February 2011
Commenting on figures published today in Nursing Standard on the fall in midwifery training places, Cathy Warwick, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The figures are extremely worrying and are yet another blow for maternity services.
“They are doubly disappointing because we have only recently been assured by senior members of the Government that midwifery training places would not drop. This comes on the back of the Government’s u-turn on their promise to provide more midwives. We believe that 4,700 more midwives are needed in England to provide a safe and high quality service for women.
“The fact that the Department of Health says that that midwifery numbers are at record levels fails to address some key issues. Firstly, they are at record levels because of the policies and investment by the previous Government. Secondly, they obscure the fact that midwife numbers were climbing from a very low base and, despite this increase they have trailed a long way behind birth rates. There is also increasing pressure on services because births are becoming more complex, demanding more of midwives’ time.
“Now we have a situation where the numbers of midwives coming in will be falling, along with a big retirement bulge among midwives on the way in the next five to ten years. I will be seeking to discuss this issue with the Government as a matter of urgency.”
For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries. We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.