‘Deliver a decent deal’ say midwives as they step up their campaign for better pay

By ‘Deliver a decent deal’ say midwives as they step up their campaign for better pay on 18 November 2020 NHS Staff Government Midwifery Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Maternity Services Pay NHS Pay Review Body Pay and Agenda For Change RCM RCM Member RCM CEO

Deliver a decent pay deal for midwives – as part of proper funding for the NHS.  That is the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) today as it steps up its campaign to secure an early and significant pay rise for its members. The RCM says the Government must act now to give maternity services what they need to cope with the demands on them. This means addressing the serious midwifery shortages and rewarding staff for their efforts with a decent pay deal.

The call comes just days after the RCM published survey results that revealed maternity services are at breaking point due to understaffing and that seven out of ten midwives (71%) have considered leaving the midwifery profession. 

Commenting, RCM’s CEO, Gill Walton said: “It’s clear midwives and maternity support workers have had enough, and some are turning their back on the profession because they do not feel valued. Understaffing happens for a range of reasons, but we know that poor recruitment and retention into the profession over the past decade has led to significant understaffing and this is also linked to pay. Years of austerity have meant wages for midwives have not risen as they should and continue to have a significant financial impact on all our members.”

Over a million people work in the NHS in England including tens of thousands of midwives. They work in every corner of the country. Putting extra money in their pockets would not just acknowledge and recognise their hard work, it would put cash into struggling local economies up and down the country and help families at a time when many will be facing mounting financial difficulties, says the RCM.

Gill added: “We know from our recent survey that almost 40 percent of midwives are working additional unpaid overtime to keep services running safely. This is not sustainable. We would not expect other key services in any other area to run on goodwill. Shortages will only worsen if we allow maternity staff to burn out and leave the profession for good. The solution is simple – deliver a decent and early pay deal for midwives and maternity support workers, show them they are valued and in turn boost recruitment and retention. This will enable maternity services to begin to have enough midwives to deliver safe services to women and their babies.”





To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]


Notes to Editors


  • The RCM is also applying the same pressure to politicians and lobbying to ‘deliver a decent deal’ for members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England – asking them to bring forward earlier pay rises for members in all countries. Any money made available by the UK government for pay rises for NHS staff in England will be made available to the devolved countries through the Barnett Formula.



  • On social media use the hashtag #DeliveraDecentDeal



  • Turn the applause for NH staff into an early wage rise say RCM and health unions




  • Value NHS with an early and significant pay rise says RCM







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/.