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New NMC report shows the need for more midwives

2 November, 2017

New NMC report shows the need for more midwives

The number of midwives and nurses leaving the NMC register has been highlighted by a new report from the NMC.

Figures released by the NMC in July showed that for the first time there were more midwives and nurses leaving the register than joining it. Today’s (2 November) figures show that trend is continuing.

Over the last 12 months the number of UK graduates leaving the profession has increased by 9%.

The number of midwives and nurses from Europe leaving the register has also increased by 67%, while the number joining the register from the EU has dropped dramatically from 10,178 last year to 1107 this year, a decrease of 89%.

While the number of midwives and nurses leaving the register from the UK continues to rise, indications are that the number joining remains static when compared with the previous 12-month period.  

RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications Jon Skewes said: ‘This latest report by the NMC is concerning, despite showing that the number of midwives leaving the register remains static. What is worrying for the RCM is the slow pace at which midwives are joining the NMC register.

‘Given the fact we remain 3500 midwives short in England alone, the concern for the RCM is how we will ever narrow the gap on the current shortage of midwives.

‘The RCM has previously warned that years of pay restraint and staffing shortages in the midwifery profession would affect the recruitment and retention of NHS midwives and discourage those interested in a career in midwifery, and this is what is happening.

‘Also, the impact of Brexit and the uncertainty for midwives from other European countries in also evident in this report with a significant reduction in EU midwives joining the register clearly highlighted.’

Read the full report here.

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