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4 October, 2017

Today (3rd October 2017) Jeremy Hunt gave a speech at the Conservative party Conference in which he pledged to create additional training posts for student nurses and more flexible working for NHS staff. Commenting on the speech, Suzanne Tyler, Director for services to Members at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a welcome commitment to the NHS and may go some way to addressing the often woeful staffing levels

27 September, 2017

There is overwhelming public support for removing the Government’s cap on NHS pay according to survey results released today (Thursday, 28th September 2017) by 14 NHS unions. The survey of over 2,000 people by ComRes asked if they supported removal of the cap on pay for NHS staff. A large majority (84%) supported scrapping the cap.

27 September, 2017

The Scottish Government  has today (Thursday September 27th) named five Early Adopter Boards that will take forward the early implementation of The Best Start recommendations for maternity and neonatal services.

The following five health boards in Scotland will take forward early implementation of the Best Start recommendations, including the implementation of continuity of carer and the development of local delivery of maternity care.


  • NHS Forth Valley
  • NHS Highland
  • NHS Lanarkshire
  • NHS Lothian
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (part Board – Clyde only)


18 September, 2017

Pay remains top of the agenda for The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) at it’s Activists Conference which  takes place in Leeds today. The RCM Activists Conference will bring together all accredited RCM stewards, health and safety representatives, maternity support worker (MSW) advocates, branch secretaries, chairs and treasurers.

15 September, 2017

NHS unions are today (Friday) breaking with tradition and submitting a pay claim directly to the government on behalf of more than one million health workers across the UK.

In a letter to the Chancellor, 14 health unions including the Royal College of Midwives, UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and the GMB, are asking Philip Hammond to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise in line with inflation (Retail Price Index). The claim also calls for an additional £800 to restore some of the pay lost over the past seven years.

In a letter to the Chancellor, 14 health unions including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and the GMB, are asking Philip Hammond to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise in line with inflation (Retail Price Index). The claim also calls for an additional £800 to restore some of the pay lost over the past seven years.

Cleaners, nurses, radiographers, pharmacists, midwives, medical secretaries, paramedics, therapists, dental technicians, as well as caterers, porters and everyone else who works in the NHS have suffered real terms pay cuts of around 15 per cent because of the government’s harsh pay policies, say unions.

NHS unions believe the government has undermined the role of the independent pay review body and severely restricted its ability to make recommendations. Health unions are therefore seizing the initiative today and going directly to the government. 

11 September, 2017


Later today (Tuesday September 12th) the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will officially launch a series of animated films on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The short powerful animated films have been developed by the RCM in collaboration with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), The Royal College General Practitioners (RCGP), survivors of FGM, NGOs and a variety local community partners.

Instrumentally the RCM and its partners worked closely with FGM survivors to ensure the authenticity of the stories being told via the animations remained true to the realities of surviving FGM.

The films are not only aimed at creating awareness around the health and consequences of FGM, but also hope to cut through much of the inaccurate and misleading information circulating in the public sphere about FGM.

Importantly, each of the FGM animations ends with a ‘call to act’ on each UK Government.

The call to action includes the following;

  • To develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a National FGM Action Plan with the goal of ending FGM in the UK by 2030.
  • A commitment by all government agencies to end FGM, support survivors and share information to keep women and girls safe.
  • Provide accessible specialist health and psychological care and support services in community settings for survivors and potential victims of all age groups.
  • Education and training for the children's workforce in their role and responsibilities for safeguarding girls and young women.
11 September, 2017

Today research has been published in the inline journal BMJ Open on the effects of light or occasional drinking in pregnancy. 

Commenting on the research, Carmel Lloyd Head of Education at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We support the view of the research authors and our advice also remains that if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant then it is better to remove any doubt about the impact of alcohol and not drink it.

11 September, 2017

Today research has been published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on more complex births and staffing pressures putting strain on maternity services, leading to temporary closures. Commenting, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “There is a cocktail of a historically high birthrate, increasingly complex births and staff shortages that lead to units closing temporarily.

7 September, 2017



The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has called on the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to issue clear guidance on abortion referrals for midwives and other healthcare professionals.


The call from the RCM comes as the threat of prosecution against midwives and other medical professionals in Northern Ireland to make abortion referrals to the UK has been lifted.


Amnesty International has confirmed today that the Director for Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland, Barra McGrory QC has told them ‘that he can see no risk of criminal prosecution for NHS employees in Northern Ireland who refer women to NHS hospitals and clinics in the rest of the UK’.

5 September, 2017


Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed this afternoon that the 1 % cap on public sector pay rises in Scotland will be scrapped from next year.

Responding to the announcement the Royal College of Midwives (RCMs) Director for Scotland, Mary Ross-Davie said; “The RCM very much welcomes this afternoon’s announcement by Scotland’s First Minister. The RCM has campaigned long and hard on behalf of our members for the pay cap to be lifted and we are happy that the Scottish Government has finally listened to our calls. With this announcement, the Scottish Government has led the way for the other countries of the UK  to follow.

However, it is not enough to lift the pay cap, there must be a commitment in place to fund an above-inflationary pay increase for midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff.


4 September, 2017

Gill Walton from today (Monday September 4th) takes the reins as leader of the UK’s only professional association and trade union for midwives, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

One of the countries leading midwives, Gill was appointed as the next Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCM in May and from today she officially takes up her post at the RCM’s headquarters in London.

Gill will succeed Professor Cathy Warwick who has led the RCM since 2008 and has now retired from her role.

Up until recently Gill held the post of Director of Midwifery and Maternity services at Portsmouth Hospitals and is a passionate midwife, experienced midwifery leader and manager.

She started nursing at University College Hospital and then undertook her Midwifery training at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton. Previously she has held Director of Midwifery posts at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading; Barking Havering and Redbridge; John Radcliffe in Oxford

Gill has also been at the forefront of many transformation programmes for maternity services as well as several national maternity related projects.

Gill has been involved in national policy and strategy development, including work with the RCM, NMC and Department of Health and actively supports improvement and development in other maternity services.

4 September, 2017

Today (4th September) the charity PANDAS has published a survey about the problems midwives and health visitor’s face when dealing with pre and postnatal mental illnesses.

Pre and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week takes place this week September 4th – 10th.

1 September, 2017

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to enhance the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues. The Trust’s maternity services have signed the RCM’s Caring for You Charter, which aims to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of maternity staff. This supports and enables them to continue providing the highest levels of maternity care for women and their families.

29 August, 2017

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has today (Tuesday August 29th) begun to highlight an upcoming series of short animated films on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) across social media.

The short animations have been developed closely with RCM’s partners the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), survivors, NGOs and other community partners.

Over the next two weeks the RCM will be highlighting FGM issues by posting illustrations and messages across it’s social media accounts in the run up to the short films being formally launched in Parliament on September 12th.

The aim of these short animations, which will use the powerful forces of social media to spread emotive and targeted messages is to break  through much of the inaccurate information circulating about FGM as the scripts were derived from the survivors themselves

Starting today for week one  the RCM will concentrate on highlighting the launch of the films by using creative images and to raise awareness during week two the RCM will share exclusive clips from the animation series.

23 August, 2017

Today research has been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology about the evidence around vaginal seeding.