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More student midwife places for Scotland

8 November, 2018

More student midwife places for Scotland

The number of student midwives in training in Scotland is set to increase for the next year, Scotland’s health secretary Jeane Freeman has announced.

Student midwifery and nursing places will increase for the seventh consecutive year, reaching record levels, with the intake rising by 7.6% to more than 4000.

Upping the intake for the 2019-20 academic year is one of a number of measures the government aims to support the sustained recruitment and retention of NHS staff. 

The largest increase in student uptake will be for midwifery – up by 13.7%. 

In addition to the increase in student places, almost 460 former midwives and nurses have signed up to retrain through the return-to-practice programme, since 2015. 

Jeane said: Our midwives and nurses are critical to the success of our NHS and will continue to be so. We are acutely aware of the demand across Scotland in a variety of settings and I want to ensure our NHS is well equipped to continue to provide the best possible care for patients.’

RCM director for Scotland Mary Ross-Davie said that she is pleased that the Scottish Government has listened.
‘These additional midwife training places were really needed and will go towards future proofing Scotland’s maternity services to ensure that women and their babies will continue to receive safe, high-quality maternity care.
‘The RCM believes this increase in student numbers, along with the government’s commitment to sustaining and supporting return-to-practice programmes, the ongoing provision of bursary support for student midwives are a positive response to the growing midwifery workforce issues across Scotland,’ she added.

Mary also highlighted the importance of ensuring these additional students have a really positive learning experience – not only in their universities, but also in their midwifery practice. 

‘For this to happen the RCM believes there needs to be additional resources for midwives in practice,’ she said. ‘We must also continue offering mentorship to support our midwifery students and have enough lecturers to deliver high quality teaching and support.’
The RCM said it hopes to see equivalent increases in midwifery lecturer posts across Scotland and increases in the numbers of midwife mentors to match these increases in student midwife training places announced today.

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