Devil is in the detail says RCM on funding announcement for maternity services in England
A welcome injection of funding, but ‘the devil is in the detail’ that’s the verdict from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as it welcomes the announcement of a funding boost for maternity services in England.
Today a total of £127 million has been pledged by NHS England with £50 million being allocated to Trusts across the country over the next two years to boost staffing numbers in maternity and neonatal services.
However, the RCM has expressed concern with the current shortage of midwives now at well over 2,000 and a major midwife recruitment and retention crisis that can’t be solved overnight.
Commenting, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Chief Executive, Gill Walton said;
“Obviously, any new funding for maternity services is welcomed, particularly as we know so many maternity services are under extreme pressure right now. For far too long underinvestment has undermined our members efforts to deliver the safest and best possible care for women and their babies. Many services are being run on the sheer goodwill and commitment of midwives, which is unsustainable. Right now, we are seeing midwives leave in their droves, we are losing talented professionals as they’ve had enough. While newly qualified midwives are turning on their heels because they do not feel supported or valued. It’s crucial the NHS looks after the health and wellbeing of its staff to have any hope of recruiting and retaining them.
“We are pleased to see that a proportion of this funding will go towards culture and leadership development programmes. The RCM has been firmly focused on improving midwifery leadership with our own programmes as we believe it’s a key factor in improving safety in maternity services, but midwifery leaders need the right level of influence, resources, staffing to be effective. If we can get staffing levels right and invest in leadership and more multi-disciplinary training, we can begin to turn things around. So, we welcome today’s pledge of much needed funding from NHS England and look forward to seeing more detail of how and more importantly when this funding be released so it can begin to make a much-needed impact, not only for staff, but for the women they care for too.”
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].
Notes to Editors:
- Maternity underfunding means care based on what trusts can afford not on women’s safety and needs says RCM
- RCM Position Statement on Safer Staffing
- Government must fix maternity staffing crisis to ensure safety RCM tells TUC Women’s Conference
- Stem the tide of midwives leaving the profession, RCM tells Downing Street
- NHS England » NHS announces £127m maternity boost for patients and families
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.