Warning over shortage of midwives
Thursday 28 June 2012
The Government must address the "serious shortage" of midwives,
the Royal College of Midwives said, as an independent report found that
numbers of staff are one of the main challenges facing maternity
Long-term vacancy rates for midwives have steadily increased in recent years, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report found.
Although births in England increased by over 21% between 2001 and 2010, the number of midwives only increased by around 15%, from 18,048 to 20,790.
Louise Silverton, deputy general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "This supports and highlights all we have been saying for many years about the shortage of midwives and the need for serious investment in maternity services.
"A failure to have adequate numbers of midwives leads to mistakes and lower quality care.
"We recognise investment in midwifery training but this will be wasted if the newly qualified midwives cannot find jobs. Once qualified, they need support from experienced midwives whist they consolidate the skills learned during their training. Many of these midwives are those whose jobs are currently under threat.
"This Government must take this issue much more seriously and give it more attention than they are doing. If they do not mothers, babies and their families are the ones who will suffer the consequences of this Government's failure to ensure that maternity services have the resources to meet the demands facing them."
The union has launched an online petition calling for 5,000 more midwives in the NHS in England.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Local healthcare organisations, with their knowledge of the patients they serve, are best placed to decide how many doctors, nurses and other health professionals they need to deliver high quality maternity services.
"The ratio between midwives and the birth rate now is similar to the rate 10 years ago, both have increased by around 17%. The birth-to-midwives ratio does not indicate the safety or quality of service provided."
The CQC report, which is based on findings from unannounced inspections of 14,000 health and social care providers in England, found that across the board one in 10 institutions were failing to meet staffing standards.
"The non-availability of temporary staff and organisations leaving vacancies open for a number of months - particularly for qualified staff - can lead to compromises in the quality of care given to people, and staff training and supervision," the CQC said.
It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'
Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London
...and the perfect time to visit them
Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result
Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised
Life & Style blogs
Victoria's Secret models star in new nude Russell James book
iPhone 6 review: bigger, thinner, faster, brighter - Apple proves you can make the best better
iPhone 6 Plus review: more like a small iPad that makes calls - but perfect for some
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Rapidly developing and growing...
£105 - £120 per day + Expenses: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randstad Educat...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are curren...