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Manifesto for Welsh maternity care

Tuesday, 8th March 2011  

Calls for better postnatal care and maintaining midwife numbers are among eight pledges in the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Welsh manifesto launched today. The publication of the Manifesto comes ahead of the elections for the Welsh Assembly Government on 5th May 2011.

The Manifesto also highlights the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby, and asks the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to actively promote breastfeeding. 

Responding to feedback from mothers the Manifesto calls for better postnatal care. This is particularly needed in the first week after birth, a period in which women say they would like more support.

Addressing the pressing issue of health inequalities, the manifesto spotlights the stark inequalities that still remain in the rates of death and ill-health amongst mothers and babies in some groups in society. The manifesto challenges the WAG to ensure that eliminating inequalities is a top priority for NHS Wales.

The RCM also champions midwives and asks that their pay continues to be set not by politicians but by the Independent Pay Review Body. It also points out that NHS pensions annually produces a 2 billion surplus which goes back to taxpayers, and that existing NHS pension agreements should be honoured.

The eight pledges in the RCM Wales Manifesto are:
• Better postnatal care
• Promoting midwife-led care
• Rewarding public service
• Eliminating inequality at the start of life
• Delivering tomorrow’s midwives
• Involving fathers and families
• Promoting midwifery leadership
• Encouraging breastfeeding in Wales

Helen Rogers, Wales Director at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “There are very challenging times ahead for midwives and maternity services in Wales. NHS services are under a lot of pressure to save money and I have real fears that mothers and babies will suffer as a result of this. Real improvements have been made over the last few years, and I am deeply worried that much of the ground gained will be lost.

“This Manifesto outlines our views about what needs to be done to ensure safe and high quality maternity care in Wales. I will be urging the next government in Wales to work with the RCM to make sure that it happens.”

The Manifesto can be viewed at http://www.rcm.org.uk/college/campaigns-events/election2011/.

For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.
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.



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