RCM leader calls for a revolution in maternity services

By RCM leader calls for a revolution in maternity services on 08 May 2024 Midwifery Midwives Student midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Maternity Services Safety Maternity Safety RCM Member RCM RCM CEO

The head of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has pledged to start a revolution in maternity care. Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, made an impassioned plea at the RCM’s national conference to midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) to celebrate the progress and positive steps forward in maternity services, as well as recognising the challenges the profession faces.

Speaking to a packed auditorium in Liverpool earlier today (8 May), Gill praised the dedication and hard work of those working in maternity services, reminding them of the positive difference they make to women and families:

“I want to start a revolution in maternity services. I want midwives to build on the good practice that is going on every day, in every service. There is so much you do that’s good. I want midwives to share that good practice. I want us to regain our confidence and I want us to lift our heads up. I want us to be proud of who we are and what we do. I want you to be proud of what you do. Every day, we do have an amazing impact and we need to celebrate this. Whether that’s on the women and families in your care or supporting and teaching students. Every single one of us makes a difference.”

Under the conference banner of Energising Excellence, Gill went on to outline how proud she is of the profession while acknowledging how difficult it can be to work in maternity services. She stressed that the RCM is pushing the Government, and all policy-makers, to tackle the challenges around midwife retention, particularly in terms of increasing flexible working opportunities.

“Every day, we are fighting your corner. We raise these issues every day, with managers, with commissioners, and with politicians and policy-makers. We tell them what it’s like when you have so few staff on a 12-hour shift that you can barely take a break. But we also tell them it doesn’t have to be like this. We know that one of the things driving skilled, experienced, passionate staff out of the NHS is a lack of flexible working. It’s already working in some Trusts and Boards.

“How you can hang on to staff and not lose them to bank, so that they’re there to support the students and the early career midwives, they need a need and deserve care and support too.”

She concluded:

“I am so proud to lead this profession. So proud to represent you. So proud to be one of your number. So, I want you to join me in this revolution. I want all of us, this whole brilliant midwifery community, to take pride in what we do, to celebrate the small things that make a big difference. Because midwifery belongs to all of us. We are its guardians, its advocates and its champions.”



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  • The Royal College of Midwives (RCM’s) Annual Conference takes place in Liverpool 8-9 May.

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