Protection is more than just PPE – RCM calls on NHS employers to offer proper training and support to those working in maternity services

By Protection is more than just PPE – RCM calls on NHS employers to offer proper training and support to those working in maternity services Midwives RCM Maternity Services NHS Staff Midwifery NHS NHS Wales NHS England PHE - Public Health England RCM Northern Ireland coronavirus Safety Midwife Training

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is today calling on NHS Trusts and Boards to provide better support to maternity staff after a survey revealed that nearly a third of midwives had received no advice or training they need to care for women with coronavirus symptoms.

The survey found that over half (56%) of midwives had received some advice and training, with just 15% saying that they had received adequate support.

The survey of RCM workplace representatives also found that there is significant disparity in the information being given by employers on what midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) should do if they or someone in their household displays symptoms of coronavirus infection. One in 10 of those responding to the survey had received no information from their employer at all.


Commenting on the findings, RCM Executive Director of External Relations Jon Skewes said:

“Midwives and maternity support workers are doing all they can to continue to provide the safe care pregnant women want and need. However, we are concerned that their employers – the NHS Trusts and Boards – are not demonstrating that level of commitment to them. We fully acknowledge that they are working under extreme pressure, but this is when the duty of care to their staff is even more important.


“Maternity services are the NHS frontline, and midwives and MSWs are willingly placing themselves on it. We welcome the clarity provided by the guidance on personal protective equipment issued last week, but protection goes beyond a mask and gloves. It means ensuring those frontline staff are adequately and appropriately supported to provide care and minimise risk, both to themselves and others. NHS Trusts and Boards must step up and make this happen.”




Embargo: 12.01am Wednesday 8 April 2020


To contact the RCM media relations team, call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]


Notes to editors:

  1. 620 people took part in the survey, which was open for responses from 27 March until 5 April 2020.
  2. 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