Moving in right direction but some concerns says RCM on new statistics on midwife numbers

on 10 May 2019 Staffing Levels NHS Staff Midwifery

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published statistics showing that the number of midwives registered to work in the UK continues to increase. They also publish the results of a survey showing that many midwives and nurses leave their profession because of job pressures and dissatisfaction with the care they can provide. 

Commenting, Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “The fact that the UK is training more midwives and nurses here is a very positive step and I want to see this trend continue. I am also pleased to see more of our colleagues from across the world coming to the UK.

“I am though concerned at the drop in the number of people from the EU on the NMC register. The RCM has been shouting loudly about the impact of Brexit on our NHS staff from other EU countries and this is further proof of that. The Government need to ensure that we keep the door open for EU midwives in the future who may want to work in our maternity services."

“The pressures on maternity services and wider NHS remain high. It is a concern that a significant proportion of people cite job pressures and being unable to do their job well as they would like as reasons for leaving. 

“Things are moving in the right direction. We have a welcome commitment from the Government to give the NHS 3000 more midwives in England, and a bold vision from them to improve maternity care.  I look forward to further increases in registered midwives in the NHS so that they and their colleagues can deliver even better care for mothers, babies and their families.”

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