NHS Thousands Of Midwives Short – National Audit Office Maternity Report Confirms
Commenting on the report Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a very important report which backs up and vindicates what we have been saying for a very long time.
“We are many thousands of midwives short of the number needed to deliver safe, high quality care. Births are at a 40-year high and other figures out this week show that this is set to continue. As the report states, births are also becoming increasingly complex putting even more demands on midwives and maternity services.
“We know that maternity units are closing because they simply do not have enough staff to deliver care safely. This reduces or removes choice for women, yet ensuring choice was a pledge by the Government. When units close it leaves this pledge in tatters and women upset, stressed and deeply disappointed.
“We recognise that there has been an increase in the number of midwives in training, but it is not enough. We also know that when midwives do finish their training they are struggling to find jobs.
“The cost of litigation payments in maternity can be enormous. What this shows is that you cannot get safe, high quality maternity services on the cheap because it will cost much more in the long run. Most importantly there are the terrible consequences for mothers, babies and their families if mistakes are made. Money invested in maternity is also money invested in the future health of the country.
“I think the Government and maternity services across the country need to take a good, hard look at this report and act upon it. It is a wake-up call for them and it should prompt all of those planning and allocating money for maternity services to do much, much more for women and babies.”