RCM calls on governments to invest in maternity services to honour international Year of the Midwife

By RCM calls on governments to invest in maternity services to honour international Year of the Midwife on 01 January 2020 Midwives NHS RCM Maternity Services Maternity Transformation

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling on governments at home and abroad to honour the spirit of the international Year of the Midwife by investing properly in maternity services and those providing them. The RCM sees the World Health Organization-designated year as an opportunity for those funding and commissioning services to prioritise maternity services, from supporting those just starting out in their midwifery careers to championing midwifery leadership.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said:

“An investment in maternity services is an investment in the wellbeing of women. We want every pregnant woman to have access to good maternity services, staffed by qualified midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs). Currently, though, too many trusts and health boards are running with midwife vacancies, putting pregnant women and their babies at risk. We have to address this, not only by training more midwives but by ensuring that we retain those already practising.

“The Year of the Midwife is a celebration of the contribution that midwives make to the lives of families. What better way for governments to honour that contribution than by investing properly in midwives throughout their careers, from education and training to championing midwifery leadership?”


The RCM has set out three priorities for funders and commissioners of maternity services for the Year of the Midwife:


  • Empower advocacy for women by strengthening leadership at every level of maternity care;
  • Support better outcomes for women and babies through increased funding for maternity services;
  • Invest in midwives through high quality continuous education and training.


Gill Walton added:

“The Year of the Midwife is a golden opportunity to empower, support and invest in maternity services, in the UK and overseas. We are looking forward to celebrating with midwives across the year and championing positive change for our members and their colleagues around the world.”



Year of the midwife 2020  https://www.who.int/campaigns/year-of-the-nurse-and-the-midwife-2020 





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


Notes to editors

The international Year of the Midwife was announced by the World Health Organization in May 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/.