Need to see more midwives in leadership positions says RCM responding to CQC State of Care report

on 10 October 2018 NHS England Midwife Shortage Leadership

Today the Care Quality Commission has published its State of Care report.  On maternity the report says that nearly half all maternity and gynaecology services, and over a third of maternity services inspected under their new methodology need to improve.

It also said that the 2017 maternity service survey, which looked at the experiences of women receiving maternity services in February 2017, showed small improvements across most questions. This it said, is a consistent upward trend since the results of the 2013 survey. Notable changes say the report include improvements in women’s perceptions of being offered choices, and having the information to make choices, during their antenatal care.

Commenting on the report, Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Health and Social Policy at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “The improvements in care are welcome but we remain concerned at the number of units that need to improve.

“Despite the Government’s welcome commitment to 3000 more midwives in England, maternity services remain under pressure with births becoming more complex.

“We also see systems in trusts that do not support midwives and their maternity colleagues being able to deliver the best possible care and this needs to change.

”We need to see many more midwives in leadership positions within trusts so that they can have real influence over the care delivered. Ideally every trust should have a Director for Midwifery particularly those offering maternity services across multiple sites.

“We are moving in the right direction and our maternity services are among the best in the world. But there is clearly more to be done to ensure that women receive care that is of the highest standard.”

The RCM recently published its annual State of Maternity Services Report 2018.  

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