‘No surprise’ on EU midwife numbers fall says RCM on new stats

By RCM on 26 April 2018 Brexit

New figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show a significant rise in the number of EU nurses and midwives leaving the register. Between April 2017 and March 2018, 3,962 people left – an increase of 29 percent. There continues to be a dramatic drop in those joining the register from the EU. Over the same period 805 EU nurses and midwives joined the register compared with 6,382 the year before – a drop of 87 percent.

Commenting on the figures, Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The increase in the number of midwives registered to practice is more welcome news following the Health Secretary's announcement of 3000 more midwives a few weeks ago.

“What is important is that any increase in midwives feeds through to an increase in midwives actually working in the NHS, as the significant pressures on maternity services, midwives and other maternity staff remain, as the NMC survey shows. Until these increases translate to more midwives in the NHS, governments must do all they can to support and retain current NHS maternity staff.

“It comes as no surprise to see the fall in the number of EEA midwives given the uncertainty that has surrounded their position since the referendum on EU membership; our own research shows a similarly worrying drop.  This remains a major concern for the RCM and there is a pressing need to finally give EU midwives the certainty they need about their status in the UK.

“Overall, things are moving in the right direction and the situation is starting to look positive for our maternity services.”

To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.