‘RCM responds to Labour Party manifesto pledges’
By ‘RCM responds to Labour Party manifesto pledges’ on 21 November 2019 Labour Party Labour RCM Pay and Agenda For Change Maternal Mental health NHS Staff NHS Unions Midwives Specialist Midwives Student midwives Specialist Mental Health Midwives Newly Qualified Midwives
The Labour party have today launched their manifesto for the 2019 General Election.
Responding Jon Skewes, Executive Director for External Relations at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said; “We are happy to see a commitment to putting the terms and conditions of Agenda for Change into law with safe staffing limits not just for midwives, but for all NHS staff. We are currently short 2,500 midwives in England alone and understaffing can compromise safety. The pledge to restore public sector pay by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises is welcomed and will go towards improving recruitment and retention.
“The RCM manifesto includes asks to improve maternal mental health care for women so the pledge to introduce mental health assessments after birth is something the RCM supports. Unfortunately, the current reality is over one third of UK maternity services do not employ any specialist maternal mental health midwives. That is why the RCM is calling for all NHS trusts in England to employ maternal mental health specialist midwives so women can get the support they need and deserve.
“The RCM also welcomes promises for mental health support for NHS staff this is crucial along with creating an NHS that is free from harassment, bullying and violence, but we would like to see a more detailed plan on how the party intends to tackle this.
“The re-introduction of a training bursary for midwives is something the RCM welcomes and has campaigned for. We know how much financial pressure our student midwives are under since the removal of the bursary in 2017 and the impact that is having on potential students who no longer see midwifery as attractive career due to the financial costs it entails to now train.
“It’s also good to see that a Labour Government would hold a People’s Vote on Brexit. Over 1,300 midwives are from elsewhere in the EU and provide care for tens of thousands of women every year to lose them would be detrimental to NHS maternity services.
“If we are to see ‘real change’ as the labour leader has put it we will need to see a real increase in long-term investment in the NHS because without that none of these promises will come to fruition. The RCM agrees with the Labour party that our most valuable assets are the dedicated people who work in our public services so let’s ensure NHS workers know how valued they are by turning these promises into a reality.”
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].
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/.