Maternity services improving but more investment needed says RCM

on 04 March 2020 Midwives RCM Maternity Services NHS Staff Staffing Levels Midwifery Midwifery Workforce Survey NHS Pay Review Body Better Births Initiative Maternity Transformation

The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed a report by the Chief Midwifery Officer for England that shows progress is being made to improve maternity care, but has sounded a note of caution as demands on services increase.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“This is great news for women and credit should be given to our hardworking maternity staff and their incredible dedication and hard work. Every woman deserves a good birth experience and, while our members are working hard to make that happen, pressure on resources is making that increasingly difficult. Just yesterday we published the results of a survey of senior midwives. This showed our services are still under real pressure, without the resources and staffing needed to deliver the best possible care.”

The publication of the Government’s report on progress in maternity services in England follows the release of the results of the RCM’s own survey of Heads of Midwifery, which found that half of maternity services across the UK are understaffed.

Gill Walton, added;

“The progress that has been made in recent years is significant, but we are concerned that understaffing is having a real impact on the morale in maternity services. A lack of resources and midwives being overstretched is fuelling the growing incidence of staff burnout, with midwives leaving the profession altogether. We have to invest more in staffing to retain the midwives we have and provide better support for the new ones coming into the profession. Our midwives and doctors are delivering better care, the Government must invest in them to keep this momentum going.”


Notes to editors

For more information on the RCM’s survey of senior midwives see

To read the report ‘Better Births Four Years on: a review of Progress’ visit

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