Promising start for Government's commitment to NHS, say midwives - but playing catch-up on NHS funding
The Government has made a promising start in reversing years of underinvestment in the NHS – but there is much more to do. That’s the verdict of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on today’s Queen's Speech.
Speaking following the announcement of a legal guarantee for the NHS budget, Jon Skewes, the RCM’s Executive Director for External Relations, said: "There has been a significant underinvestment in the NHS for too many years. We welcome this legal guarantee for funding but are conscious that this is only until the end of this Government. It will take greater focus – and greater commitment – to see the turnaround that midwives and maternity services need.”
The announcement comes a day after the introduction of a maintenance grant for student midwives, which was welcomed by the RCM. In a further potential boost for NHS staffing, the Government also announced new immigration rules, including fast-track visas for qualified health professionals.
Jon Skewes added:
"We are pleased that the Government has heeded our call for faster entry into the UK for midwives and other health professionals and this call has been recognised with the fast track visa announced today.”
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].
Notes to Editors
Among the announcements in the Queen’s Speech were a legal guarantee that the NHS budget will rise by the amount promised by the Conservatives in the election campaign. There will also be new immigration rules including fast-track visas for qualified health professionals. The full details of the Queen’s Speech can be read at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-december-2019.
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/.