Healthy and supported midwifery workforce never more important for Welsh maternity services

on 23 October 2020 RCM Maternity Services Covid-19 Staffing Levels NHS Staff Leadership NHS Wales Wales RCM Wales Welsh Government Midwife Shortage

A healthy and supported midwifery workforce has never been more important for maternity services in Wales. That’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as it responds to the latest workforce report published today by the Welsh Government.

A Healthier Wales: Our Workforce strategy for Health and Social Care also highlights an ageing midwifery and healthcare worker population with staffing shortages and a need to embrace digital technologies and rising public expectation.

Responding, Helen Rogers, the Royal College of Midwives’ Director for Wales, said:

“The RCM warmly welcomes this timely report which contains great ambitions for a stronger midwifery workforce in Wales. We know that staff who are healthy and engaged deliver safer, better maternity care and this has never been more important in Wales. Leadership is also key, particularly in the current climate where maternity teams are working under pressure and are striving to deliver safe services, often short of the amount of staff they need due to COVID-19. We are pleased to see that the need for a workforce to be reflective of the diverse population in Wales has been addressed in these plans in addition to a digital strategy that will improve digital capacity and go towards the delivery of safe effective care. Midwives in Wales have already begun to embrace digital consultations where and when possible during the pandemic.”

In the report, the Welsh Government sets out its aims to have a workforce with the right values, behaviours, knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver evidence-based care.

Helen added:

“We are also acutely aware of the ageing midwifery workforce in Wales and the need for succession planning. Midwives who are reaching retirement have a wealth of clinical and professional experience which can be passed to newly qualified midwives. We must ensure that enough new midwives are being trained to replace those retiring to continue to deliver care for women and their families.


Notes to Editors

As a key enabler to the delivery of A Healthier Wales, HEIW and Social Care Wales (SCW) jointly lead the development of a workforce strategy for health and social care, working with key partners from across the health and care system. Following a delayed publication due to Covid-19, the strategy was agreed by the Minister and was jointly published by HEIW and SCW

The strategy is underpinned by seven key themes:

-        an engaged, motivated and healthy workforce

-        attraction and recruitment

-        seamless workforce models

-        building a digitally ready workforce

-        excellent education and learning

-        leadership and succession

-        workforce supply and shape

Read full strategy here: 

About the 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