Country news: Scotland

By Mary Ross-Davie on 07 March 2018 MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwifery Continuity of Carer - MCOC Midwife Shortage RCM Scotland

News and updates from RCM Scotland by director Mary Ross-Davie (Midwives Spring 2018)

Midwife numbers:

The high number of midwives retiring across Scotland and the significant issues with midwifery recruitment, particularly in the North, means that we need to have the right number of midwives coming into our service. We have been negotiating strongly nationally to ensure this and were delighted to see the publication of the student intake reference group consensus statement in December which signalled that midwifery pre-registration education would have 35 more places in 2018 than 2017 – a rise of 18.3% and higher than the rise in any of the branches of nursing.

Continuity of carer: 

The RCM Scotland team has run five successful regional events for midwives to learn more about how continuity of carer might work for them. More than 250 midwives have attended and positively evaluated. 

The events have looked at the strong evidence base for bringing benefits for women and families, as well as looking at the practical implications of providing continuity in small team models across Scotland.

One attendee said: ‘This is my 36th year in the NHS and I have suffered burnout. However, I am re-energised by this and excited to have an opportunity for true person-centred care.’ 

Pictured is our ‘Continuity counts’ game, which aims to help us think about what a caseload would look and feel like. 


MSW month in November last year saw a number of branches across Scotland holding events to show our support colleagues how much they are appreciated as part of the maternity team. 

We are delighted to have seen a 30% rise in our MSW membership in Scotland over the last year. We think that is down to some of those local events and a growing awareness that MSWs can join the RCM. Please continue to think about branch activities for MSWs this year. 

New national forum:

For 2018 we are setting up a new national forum for midwives who have been qualified for between one and three years.The aim is to support around 25 RCM members from around Scotland to develop supportive networks with colleagues and gain informal leadership development through attending the forum, which will be held at RCM Scotland head office in Edinburgh, on a regular basis for the next two years. 

Updates on how to get involved will be on the RCM Scotland Twitter feed and Facebook page.