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Cathy issues wish list for 2017

3 January, 2017

Cathy issues wish list for 2017

RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick has released a wish list for maternity services for this year.

The list contains the top six things Cathy would like to see happen in 2017.

The continued support of midwives and MSWs to deliver the highest quality maternity services for the UK's women and babies is first on her wish list. To achieve this, maternity services policy would need to be successfully delivered across all four countries, she has stressed.

She has also called for an end to the shortage of 3500 full-time midwives in England, in a bid to ensure women receive continuity of carer.

Cathy has included the reduction of unnecessary poor outcomes and inequalities in outcomes in her list, along with the need to ensure every woman receives personalised care from a midwife and, if required, an obstetrician she knows and trusts.

A call on the government to re-think plans to remove bursaries for student midwives in England is also on the wish list.

Cathy makes mention of the need to progress on the implementation of the national maternity review in England too.

And fair pay for NHS staff makes the list as well, with Cathy calling on the government to respect the recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body.

Cathy said: 'This wish list shows how little progress or action we have seen from the government over the past year. Midwifery shortages are even higher than last year. Demands on services are increasing, yet staffing, funding and resources continue to lag way behind what is needed. NHS staff pay is under threat and student midwives in England are facing significant future debt.

'The government has also got to show that it values NHS staff, who are working harder and harder, with what seems less and less. As in the past, the government are pressuring the NHS Pay Review Body to keep pay awards to a maximum of 1% for NHS staff. They need to stop this pressure and genuinely allow the pay body the freedom to recommend pay awards.

'Employers also must take action to care for their staff better and value them more. I urge all those trusts that have not signed our Caring for You charter to do so. Many are already doing this. All the evidence suggests that if you look after staff, the care they give improves. Investing in staff is investing in better care.

'There are though some things to be optimistic about. The recommendations of the national maternity review in England, if implemented, could transform services and lead to better care for women, babies and their families. It needs commitment from the government, those providing NHS services and of course NHS staff. I hope that we see even more progress on this in the coming year.'

For the RCM's press release about this story, click here.

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