RCM welcomes new Chief Nursing Officer for Wales

on 02 September 2021 NHS NHS Wales RCM Wales Welsh Government Maternity Services Midwifery Midwives CNO - Chief Nursing Officer Covid-19 Staffing Levels

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Wales is ‘looking forward to working with the newly appointed Chief Nursing Officer to support maternity services to get back on track post pandemic’.

Restoring maternity services and focusing on the health and wellbeing of midwives and maternity staff in Wales is a key priority for the RCM they say as they welcome the appointment of Sue Tranka as the new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for Wales.

Sue, who originally trained as a midwife, was announced as the new CNO for Wales with a responsibility for midwives, maternity staff, and maternity services this week.

The CNO’s appointment comes at a time when maternity services are attempting to recover from the pandemic with staffing challenges still an issue due to sickness, isolating and shielding of maternity staff due to COVID-19.

Commenting, the RCM’s Director for Wales Helen Rogers said;

“We are really looking forward to working with our new CNO and getting maternity services fully restored after the pandemic. Sue originally trained as a midwife before pursuing a career in nursing and will have an understanding of the pressures currently facing maternity services and how important the role of the midwife is. Our members in Wales are working harder than ever before and we are expecting the birth rate to increase in the coming months. Due to COVID-19 there are some staffing challenges that need to be addressed urgently. We were grateful that maternity services in Wales where designated essential services during the pandemic because they absolutely are, but we are concerned that the pandemic has taken its toll on the health and wellbeing of many of our members who are feeling burnt out.”

In addition to restoring maternity services to their full capacity and prioritising the health and wellbeing of maternity staff, midwifery leadership and succession planning have been set out as some of the key priorities for the RCM in Wales.

Helen added:

Strengthening midwifery leadership and ensuring maternity services in Wales are future fit is a key priority for the RCM. We have been successfully working with the Welsh Government and Health Education and Improvement Wales on a successful programme, but there is more work to do. Getting maternity services back up and running to their full capacity has to be the priority now and I will be looking forward to discussing how we can address this and sharing the day-to-day experiences of RCM members with our new CNO when we meet.”




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