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Midwives Call on Cameron to honour his Pre-Election Pledge for 3,000 More Midwives

 For immediate release, Tuesday 21st  February 2012.  

Commenting today (Tuesday 21st Feb.)  on the release of official statistics from the Conservative Party regarding numbers of midwives working in the NHS, the Royal College of Midwives’ Deputy General Secretary Louise Silverton, said: “ These numbers are, according to the Department of Health itself, “provisional” and “experimental”. We will need to wait until the annual figures for 2011 are out next month to be sure of any rise in midwife numbers. These are still absolute and preliminary numbers.”


The numbers of midwives may well be up – that’s thanks to NHS Trusts responding to both the rising number and the increasing complexity of births. This is happening not because of, but despite, the Prime Minister’s callously ditching of his personal, pre-election pledge to recruit an extra 3,000 NHS midwives in England.”

The NHS in England was, in 2010, short of the equivalent of around 4,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) number of midwives. We will need to wait for the official 2011 birth figures to come out to get a more up-to-date assessment of the current situation. If births are rising faster than midwife numbers then, regardless of this rise, the shortage of midwives will be getting worse, not better. If the number of midwives is rising faster than births then that’ll be good news, but the Government shouldn’t be counting its chickens before they are hatched – there’s already a big shortage of midwives to make up. Nationally, we are campaigning for 5,000 more midwives and are aggressively promoting our e-petition.”

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For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456 or email: 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.

E-petition for 5,000 More Midwives
The RCM has an e-petition to the Government calling on them to recruit an extra 5,000 NHS midwives. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13716.
 It is approaching 30,000 signatures. If we can receive 100,000 signatures by 22nd August, we will be guaranteed a full debate and vote on the issue on the floor of the House of Commons. Currently, it’s the 8th most popular e-petition out of well over 11,000 on the system.