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Rise in Scottish midwife numbers ‘masks challenges for maternity services’ says RCM Scotland

6 March, 2018

Rise in Scottish midwife numbers ‘masks challenges for maternity services’ says RCM Scotland

Today the Scottish Government has published quarterly statistics showing that the Scottish NHS workforce is at record high. Commenting on the statistics, Mary Ross-Davie, Royal College of Midwives Director for Scotland, said: “This is a welcome rise and one that is needed to so that our maternity services can offer the level of care and support women, babies and their families need.

“However, the rise masks a number of challenges for midwives and our maternity services. These include an aging midwifery workforce which means we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of midwives returning, along with a rising number of unfilled midwifery vacancies, many of which have been vacant for over three months.  The number of midwifery vacancies in the system has tripled over the last five years, and the number of vacancies that have been vacant for more than three months has multiplied more than six fold in the last five years. Any vacancy means we are missing a midwife which means that their colleagues are facing increasing workloads.

“The demands on midwives generally have also increased significantly in recent years as a result of the increased complexity of care that they are having to provide.

“Scotland is moving in the right direction but these underlying issues must also be tackled to ensure safe and high quality care and the success of the Scottish Government plans for maternity services.”

The report statistics ‘NHS Scotland Workforce Information - Quarterly update of Staff in Post and Vacancies at 31 December 2017’ can be read via https://news.gov.scot/news/nhs-workforce-at-record-high.

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

Note to editors

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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