A ‘gathering storm’ of forces is threatening the safety, quality and sustainability of maternity services in England, according to a new report.
The RCM publication shows how issues such as rising levels of complexity in pregnancy, midwife shortages and financial constraints in the NHS are ramping up the pressure on England’s maternity workforce and services.
The report is called The gathering storm: England’s midwifery workforce challenges and outlines ‘sharply increasing demands’.
It covers an increasing and persistently high birthrate and more complex births, requiring more of midwives’ and other staff’s time.
Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: 'England’s maternity services are buckling under the demands being made on them; this cannot continue.
‘The government has got to ensure England’s maternity services have the staff and resources to provide safe, high quality care. We are pointing out the problems and offering solutions and the government has to listen to them.’
He concluded: ‘It is in the hands of the government to do something about this gathering storm, but it needs doing now.’
The report puts forward solutions and sets out ways in which decision-makers across government and England’s NHS can tackle the situation.
These include a more adaptable approach to requests for flexible working, and allowing the NHS Pay Review Body free reign to recommend staff pay wards.
To read the full report, click here.