We must act and work together to make maternity care safe says RCM

on 20 July 2023 RCM Maternity Services Midwifery Midwives Midwife Shortage Safe high quality care Staffing Levels Government Midwife Training NHS Healthcare Professionals Midwifery Workforce Neonatal Care Women Maternity Safety

We owe it to all women and families to make sure they get safe and high-quality maternity care, and we must act together and quickly to make this a reality. That’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) commenting on the Government’s full response to the inquiry into maternity services at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.

In its response published today the Government has committed to a new oversight group - chaired by the Minister for Women’s Health - overseeing maternity services nationwide. It has also appointed Dr Bill Kirkup – who led the East Kent inquiry - to lead work with healthcare partners in response to two of the key recommendations to improve team working in maternity and neonatal services.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said: "This response has been a long time coming. What is important now, though, is that all of us with a stake in maternity services – policy makers, clinical staff and the women and families in our care - work together to make sure quality and safety are paramount. Women and their families deserve and should expect to be cared for in services that are safe, adequately staffed and properly resourced.

“The RCM is fully committed to making maternity services better, not just for those accessing them but those working within them too. Let’s now strengthen our resolve and push forward together to deliver the high-quality services women should rightly expect and deserve, and that staff will feel proud to work in.”

The RCM is at the forefront of efforts to make care for women better and safer and to tackle inequalities in maternity care. The College is collaborating closely with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and many other organisations to support midwives, maternity support workers and other maternity staff to deliver the safest possible care. This includes its involvement in the MBRRACE-UK reports. Among other key RCM joint initiatives are the Avoiding Brain Injury in Childbirth programme, the Tommy’s National Centre for Maternity Improvement and Each Baby Counts projects.


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Notes to Editor 

The Government’s response to the report on East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust can be read at  Government acts to boost the quality of care for mothers and babies - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

See also:

For more information on initiatives that the RCM is working on to improve the safety and quality of maternity care, see Safety and Quality Improvement (rcm.org.uk).

The Royal College of Midwives (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 | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.