• Call us now: 0300 303 0444
  • Call us now: 0300 303 0444
Media Releases

You are here

18 August, 2017


University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) is working with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) to enhance the support available for midwives and maternity colleagues.

The Trust’s Head of Midwifery has 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.

Launched in June last year the campaign is aiming to get NHS organisations across the UK to sign up to the Caring for You Charter. Almost two-thirds of all NHS trusts and boards in the UK have signed the Charter.

18 August, 2017


New UCAS data has revealed that the number of students on midwifery and nursing degree courses is down 8 percent, that’s according to a report by the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

The Royal College of Midwives has warned of such a repercussion since the Government announced proposals to abolish the bursary in late 2015.

15 August, 2017

From Today (Tuesday August 15th) all babies in Scotland will receive a baby box full of essential items aimed at promoting their health and tackling inequality.

Each Baby Box contains practical items and the box itself doubles up as a crib and provides a safe sleep space for the baby.

Commenting RCM’s Director for Scotland, Mary Ross-Davie says; “The Royal College of Midwives has supported the Scottish Government’s baby box initiative since it was announced early this year. We have done so because we believe it is a positive public health initiative that has the potential, through it's universalist approach, to make a contribution to the reduction of inequalities at the start of a baby’s life.

14 August, 2017

The position of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on normal birth has been the subject of much attention and discussion in recent days, including in the media. This was as a result of a front page story in The Times on 12 August. This statement clarifies some of the details that were repeated elsewhere in the media and subject to debate on social media.

The RCM discontinued its Normal Birth Campaign three years ago in order to launch a wider Better Births Initiative. In a review of our website in May this year, references to the campaign were removed, as they were out of date.

The Normal Birth Campaign was focused on birth. The Better Births Initiative encompasses pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. The Better Births Initiative seeks to improve care for all women, including those with medical and obstetric complications.

9 August, 2017

A new report by the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) has found a large increase in midwife-led units* co-located with obstetric units that has increased birthplace choice for women.

The National Organisational Report 2017 also describes how maternity and neonatal care is provided across England, Scotland and Wales.

The report itself was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit Programme, the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) is the largest evaluation of NHS maternity and neonatal services undertaken in Britain.

It aims to help maternity services to identify good practice and areas for improvement in the care of women and babies.

Launched in 2016, the NMPA is collaboration between the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The first report from the audit provides comprehensive information on how maternity and neonatal care is delivered by the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales. This includes maternity and neonatal care settings, availability of services and facilities, and staffing.

7 August, 2017


Research published today (Tuesday August 8th) by the Labour party has further revealed the extent of the staffing crisis affecting England’s maternity services.

This latest research shows that nearly half of England’s maternity units closed to new mothers at some point during 2016.


The data which was obtained by Labour under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) also shows that;


  • 42 hospital trusts which responded to an FOI request say they temporarily closed maternity wards to new admissions at some point in 2016.


  • Some closures lasted more than 24 hours, while over ten trusts shut temporarily on more than ten separate occasions each.


  • In 2016 there were 382 occasions when units had to close their doors, a 70 per cent increase from 2014.


  • Hospitals report capacity and staffing issues as most common reason for closures.


4 August, 2017

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS 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.

2 August, 2017

The World Health Organization and UNICEF have published a report which says that no country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding.  The report comes at the start of World Breastfeeding Week 2017. Commenting on the report, Clare Livingstone, Clare Livingstone, Public Health Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “There is no doubt that the UK -  along with many other countries - needs to improve its breastfeeding rates.

1 August, 2017

Today (Tuesday August 1st) the Government will officially axe bursaries and introduce full tuition fees for midwifery and healthcare courses.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been staunchly opposed to these plans since the Government announced proposals to abolish the bursary in late 2015.

31 July, 2017


Today (August 1st) marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week 2017 and this years theme is sustaining breastfeeding together.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is supporting this years week of awareness which runs until Monday August 7th.

Commenting, Claire Livingstone Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM says; “The RCM is happy to once again support this global initiative which promotes and raises awareness of the benefits and advantages of breastfeeding.


28 July, 2017


Maternity services at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have become the latest trust in England to sign up to The Royal College of Midwives (RCMs) health and well being campaign, Caring for You.

The campaign which  was launched in June 2016 as a direct response to the needs of overworked midwives right across the UK has proved incredibly successful to date with over 80 percent of trust with maternity services now signed up to the campaigns charter.

The ethos being that if midwives, maternity support workers (MSWs) and all other maternity staff are allocated and take time to improve their health and well being, they in turn will be able to provide better care for women, their babies and families.

Signing the Charter means the trust will commit to working with the RCM’s health and safety representatives as well as committing to five key principles;

  • Work in partnership with the RCM Health and Safety Representative to develop and implement an action plan about health, safety and wellbeing issues that are important to the maternity workforce and maternity service users.
  • Ensure that midwives and maternity support workers have access to a variety of shift patterns and flexible working and promote a positive workplace culture around working time including taking breaks.
  • Foster a positive working environment for all by signing up to the RCM/RCOG statement of commitment calling for zero tolerance policy on undermining and bullying behaviours.
  • Enable midwives and maternity support workers to access occupational health and other organisational policies for their mental and physical health, safety and wellbeing.

There is also a strong focus on fostering a positive working environment, which incudes a zero tolerance approach to undermining and bullying behaviours amongst staff.


27 July, 2017

Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has published a joint Consensus Statement on Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM).

The statement lays out the RCMs and RCOGs position on EFM and outlines the current guidelines and recommendations around it.

The official evidence based guidance* around EFM says that it is not routinely recommended for healthy women at low risk of complications in established labour. The fetal heart rate is instead measured intermittently during established labour using a handheld monitor.

EFM is most commonly recommended where there are complications, such as where a baby is compromised through poor placental function and the baby is growth restricted.

One of the key messages in the statement is that the results of EFM are often difficult to interpret and should not be used alone to make clinical decisions. Referencing the RCOG Each Baby Counts report, the statement says that key management decisions during labour should take into account a number of relevant factors. These include the mother’s history, stage and progress in labour, any antenatal risk factors and any other signs the baby may not be coping with labour. EFM is one part of an often more complex picture.

The report also recognises the importance of the ‘fresh eyes’ ** approach to EFM, whereby a midwife or obstetrician regularly reviews a fetal heart trace with a colleague. This is now accepted good practice and helps to reduce the chances of misinterpreting fetal heart trace results. The ‘fresh eyes’ approach is used when a decision has been made for a woman in labour to have continuous EFM.

27 July, 2017


A report* released today by Audit Scotland has said that Scotland’s government and health boards have failed to plan effectively for long-term staffing challenges.

The report, by Auditor General Caroline Gardner, said ‘it was vital that the government and NHS bosses plan more effectively for the future’.


26 July, 2017

The Supreme Court today has ruled that workplace tribunal fees are unlawful.

The Government will now have to repay thousands of workers who had paid for cases surrounding discrimination, unfair dismissal and other work place issues.

The trade union Unison took the case to the Supreme Court on behalf of not only their members, but all workers.

25 July, 2017

New figures have revealed today that the average midwifery and nursing role advertised in the NHS is only drawing three applications.

Experimental statistics from NHS Digital show that there were 30,613 advertisements for vacancies for full-time positions published in England in March 2017 - a rise from 26,424 in 2016 and 26,406 in 2015.