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Greatly worried says RCM on figures showing big fall in EU nurses and midwives coming to UK

12 June, 2017

Greatly worried says RCM on figures showing big fall in EU nurses and midwives coming to UK

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Today the Health Foundation have published the results of a freedom of information request which revealed a 96% drop in the number of nurses, midwives and health visitors from the EU registering to practice in the UK since July last year. Commenting on the findings, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “This is a staggering drop and one that worries the RCM greatly. We said before the referendum that we feared it would put off potential midwives coming to the UK and this is proving to be the case.

“England is already 3500 midwives short of the numbers it needs and this serious fall is not going to help that situation.* This situation is also being compounded by the Government’s removal of bursaries for student midwives.

“This outlines why it is so critical that the Government invests in maternity services and in midwives for the NHS. We have had this critical midwife shortage for over a generation and this Government’s failure too invest in the NHS is doing a great disservice to mothers babies and their families, and to the dedicated midwives in our NHS who have to work in a system where demand is far outstripping the resources available.”

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.


Notes to editors

* Between September 2015 and September 2016 just over 250 new EU midwives started working in the NHS and just over 200 EU midwives left employment in the NHS. See The Gathering Storm report from the RCM published in March this year at https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/The%20gathering%20storm%20-%20Englands%20midwifery%20workforce%20challenges%20A5%2020pp_3.pdf .

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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