RCM responds to HSIB maternity report 

on 12 November 2020 NHS Staff Government Midwife Shortage Safety Multi Disciplinary Working Multi-disciplinary care Maternity Services

Responding to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch report, ‘Delays to intrapartum intervention once fetal compromise is suspected’Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “This echoes what the RCM has been campaigning on for many years Too often when things go wrong the finger is pointed at individuals, when it is often the systems they work in that can place staff, and the people they care for, in unsafe conditions. 

We also have chronically understaffed maternity units where senior midwives who should have hands-off supervisory safety roles havto work hands-oncomprising safety. Extremely busy maternity units with inadequate staffing will also struggle to do the training and team reflection recommended in this report.  Maternity services must be funded so that we have leaders who are free to lead and organise services. That is why the RCM is calling for every maternity service to have a Director of Midwifery with a voice right at the heart of hospital senior management. There are solutions to these issues, but we need Government and NHS buy-in and investment to address them and make our maternity services even safer. 


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

The HSIB report should be available on the HSIB website after 00.01 12 November at https://www.hsib.org.uk/. 

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/.