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‘RCM welcomes Scottish Government announcement on increasing student midwife training places'

31 January, 2018

‘RCM welcomes Scottish Government announcement on increasing student midwife training places'

The number of student midwives and nurses entering Scottish Government funded degree programmes will increase by 10.8% in 2018/19.The increase will mean a recommended intake of 3,724, up from 3,360 in 2017/18.

The announcement was made this morning (Wednesday February 1st) by the Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robinson on a visit to Erskine Home where she met students on placement.  

Responding to the Scottish Government announcement, Mary Ross-Davie, The Royal College of Midwives (RCM’s) Director for Scotland said; “We welcome that the Scottish Government has responded to RCM’s calls and advice on student midwife places. Today’s announcement means that the current intake of student midwives will now rise by 18.3% from 191-226 places.

"This increase in student numbers, along with the commitment to sustaining and supporting return to practice programmes, the continued provision of bursary support for student midwives and the planned ongoing work in relation to widening access and routes into a midwifery career, are a positive response to the growing midwifery workforce issues across Scotland.

“This significant increase in student midwife numbers is necessary to respond to the growing gap between midwives coming into the NHS in Scotland and those leaving. Over 40 percent of midwives in Scotland are now over the age of fifty and we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of retirals. We are also seeing younger midwives leaving midwifery, attracted by lower caseloads in other healthcare professions and, in some cases, better pay.

It is crucial that the increase in student numbers is matched by appropriate increases in teaching staff. There is also a need to train and support more midwifery mentors to support student midwives when they are in practice."

To contact the RCM media relations team call 020 7312 3456 or email media@rcm.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/.

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