RCM calls for urgent review of financial support for student midwives
By RCM calls for urgent review of financial support for student midwives on 06 March 2020 Midwives RCM Maternity Services NHS Staff Staffing Levels Midwifery Student midwives Student attrition SMF - Student Midwives Forum TUC
Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will call for an urgent review of financial support for student midwives at the TUC’s Women’s Conference.
In 2017 student midwives lost their bursary and started getting billed for full university tuition fees, having previously been exempt. Since then, applications to midwifery courses in England have fallen by 20% alone in the year
Commenting, Alice Sorby, Employment Relations Advisor at the RCM said: “This policy adversely impacts women, as midwifery is almost entirely a female career. Whether starting a degree course straight after A levels or, as many women do, coming into midwifery as a second career, there is huge financial pressure. The combination of study, clinical placements and, in many cases, caring responsibilities for children mean that taking a part-time job simply isn’t a viable option. Instead, they face accruing thousands of pounds of debt which they will have to repay from their NHS salary.”
In 2019, an RCM survey found that over three-quarters of student midwives were relying on financial support from family or friends. Six in 10 student midwives have accessed personal credit during their studies and were concerned they were falling into debt.
She added: “Given the current shortage of midwives in England and the pressures facing maternity services the Government should be doing it all can to make midwifery an attractive profession. If applicants continue to drop the future midwifery workforce could be seriously threatened.”
Notes to Editors
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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