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6 December, 2017

The Brexit Secretary David Davis has been reported as telling the Parliamentary Brexit Committee that he did not think that Brexit will lead to a shortage of staff in the NHS. Commenting, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “I sincerely hope the secretary is right but I have real doubts that this is the case as the evidence is already suggesting the opposite.

1 December, 2017

A midwife from Kent is traveling to Bangladesh as a volunteer in a Royal College of Midwives (RCM) project to support midwifery in Bangladesh.  Áine Alam is a midwife at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and received a prestigious Fellowship from the RCM earlier this year.

28 November, 2017

Responding to comments by Jeremy Hunt on NHS pay reported in the Health Service Journal today Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It would appear that the Secretary of State for Health has ignored the advice of unions and others engaged in exploratory negotiations on the pay claim for NHS staff, and on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay structure. That advice was to explore more and talk less. His intervention has not helped the prospect of a deal on pay in the NHS.

27 November, 2017

Leading Royal Colleges call for improvements to reduce avoidable deaths and ensure the best possible care for women and babies

Stillbirth and neonatal deaths have more than halved in the UK from 0.62 to 0.28 per 1,000 total births since 1993, representing a fall of around 220 intrapartum (term) deaths per year, according to new figures published today. 

Led by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, the MBRRACE-UK report looked at the quality of care for stillbirths and neonatal deaths of babies born at term (after 37 weeks) who were alive at the onset of labour and who were not affected by a major congenital anomaly.  This type of death occurred in 225 pregnancies in 2015.

The analysis included a random representative sample of 78 of these babies born in 2015 and aimed to identify potentially avoidable failures of care during labour, delivery and any resuscitation, which may have led to the death.

A key finding was that capacity issues were a problem in over a quarter of the cases. The majority of staffing and capacity problems were related to delivery suite with the remaining issues relating to neonatal care provision. 

Furthermore, in 80% of the stillbirths and neonatal deaths analysed, improvements in care were identified which may have made a difference to the outcome of the baby.  

27 November, 2017

As leaders of the professional bodies for midwives and obstetricians, Royal College of Midwives (RCM) the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) welcome this refreshed Maternity Safety Strategy and the targets and commitments it contains.

The RCM and RCOG are committed to speaking with one, united voice on maternity safety and ensuring every woman has a good birth, with the best possible experience and outcomes for her and her baby; and to providing a shared vision of a modern maternity team whose common purpose is supporting best practice, respectful relationships, strong leadership and putting women at the centre of care.

24 November, 2017

In Wednesday'sBudget the Chancellor pledged to fund the recommendations on NHS pay that the NHS Pay Review Body will make for midwives and other NHS staff and also committed additional funds for the NHS in England.

23 November, 2017

A new survey of recent mothers and pregnant women found that more than four out of five (84%) said they are getting information on flu* and whooping cough** vaccination from their midwife. Results of the survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Emma’s Diary are published today.

15 November, 2017

 A  new study published in PLOS Medicine has found that inducing first-time mothers aged 35 and over at 40 weeks could reduce the risk of stillbirth and neonatal deaths when compared to current guidelines which recommend induction of labour between 41 and 42 weeks for all women regardless of age.

The UK researchers analysed data from NHS Hospital Episode Statistics covering 77,327 first time mothers aged 35-50. They compared the risk of stillbirth or neonatal deaths between induction of labour at 39, 40 and 41 weeks and expectant management – continuing the pregnancy to either spontaneous labour, induction of labour or caesarean section at a later date.

This study found that pregnant women aged 35 and over who were induced at 40 weeks were two thirds less likely to experience a stillbirth or neonatal death compared to women who received care according the current guidelines.

14 November, 2017

Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust have become the latest Trust with maternity services to sign up to The Royal College of Midwives (RCMs) Caring for You campaign.

The RCM’s Health and well being campaign has become a huge success with three-quarters (75%) of all maternity services across the UK now committed to the campaigns charter.

Launched in June 2016, the RCM’s Caring for You campaign is encouraging all trusts across the UK to sign up to its campaign Charter.

The Charter aims to improve services for women and babies by improving the wellbeing of midwives and MSWs and is one of the cornerstones of the RCM Caring for You campaign

Signing the Charter means trusts commit to working with the RCM’s health and safety representatives to improve the health, safety and wellbeing at work of midwives, student midwives and maternity support workers. They in turn will be able to provide even better care for women, babies and their families.

10 November, 2017

Today figures released by NHS Digital show that the proportion of pregnant women having a spontaneous labour has decreased over the past year. Over the same time, the proportion of caesareans undertaken before the onset of labour has also increased.

8 November, 2017

A new report published today will enable quality improvement in maternity across the UK.

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) have published a comprehensive clinical report that identifies areas of good practice in maternity care and provides important data for areas where there are opportunities to improve the maternity care that woman and their babies receive.

Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the NMPA is the largest quality improvement programme for maternity and neonatal services in the world. 

Importantly it is also the first such collaboration between the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

2 November, 2017

A new report published today by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) shows the number of midwives and nurses leaving the NMC register.

Responding to the report, The Royal College of Midwives (RCMs) 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 in fact joining the NMC register.

1 November, 2017

The quality of maternity care for women can be improved through better continuity of carer says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) launching an updated publication on continuity of midwifery care today.

1 November, 2017


The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has today officially launched Maternity Support Worker Month on day two of its Annual Conference in Manchester Central.

To coincide with MSW Month the RCM has released the results from its latest survey of Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) which has revealed the following;

  • MSWs as a whole feel undervalued by their pay and current banding (almost 50 percent (47.6%) of those surveyed are in band 3 earning less than £19,968 per year.


  • Over seventy percent (77%) of MSWs said they would like more training.


  • Almost sixty (59.57%) percent of MSWs surveyed said they would like to see their profession regulated.


  • MSWs are a loyal workforce with over forty percent (43%) working for their current organisation and employer for ten years or more.


  • While over 60 percent (60.9%) of respondents confirmed their title was a MSW there remains a wide variety of titles used such as Maternity Care Assistant (almost 22%) and Health Care Assistant (over 10%).
31 October, 2017

“The relationships we form in the workplace are the key to safety in our maternity services”, the comment came from The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) new Chief Executive Gill Walton in her opening address to delegates at RCM’s Annual Conference in Manchester Central.

The two day conference attended by midwives, maternity support workers (MSWs) and student midwives from across the UK will be for some RCM members the first opportunity they have had to meet the RCM’s new leader.

Revealing safety, partnership and leadership as her top three priorities, Gill Walton, RCM’s Chief Executive said; “The relationships that we form in the workplace are the key to safety. We must strengthen partnerships with other health professionals so that we can debate and discuss the future of safe maternity care, so that together we can give clear information to women and families.

“I have to mention midwifery and obstetric staffing issues. There are huge gaps in some services which contribute to real concerns. When things go wrong, often the underpinning issue is that of relationships. Healthy relationships at all levels – clinical, system, regional, national, across professions – need to be supported if we are to develop the ambition of multi-disciplinary working which underpins safe care. Where barriers exist we need to recognise that these are within professions as much as they are between professions.”

Highlighting current collaborative work on safety by the RCM with other royal colleges such as The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Gill shared her plans with delegates.

 “I also want to focus on the RCM’s involvement in safety initiatives and in helping midwives and MSWs to practice in a safe way. The RCM has a particularly important role to play in ensuring that you have access to the evidence in a way that you can understand. You in turn need to help women to understand the evidence in a way that makes sense to them and enables them to make choices that are right for them. It is you, the midwife, who has the key role in ensuring that women are able to weigh up the benefits and risks related to their choices.”