RCM statement on the call by the Maternity Safety Alliance for a statutory inquiry into maternity safety in England

on 31 October 2023 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services NHS Government England NHS Staff

Responding to The Maternity Safety Alliance’s call for a public, statutory inquiry into maternity safety in England, Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director Midwife at the Royal College of Midwives, said:

“The Royal College of Midwives shares the frustration of the Maternity Safety Alliance at the pace of progress in maternity safety. We have consistently highlighted where improvements need to be made, including more investment in staff and training and the sharing of good practice across services, and have proactively shared with the Government and NHS bodies our practical approaches to the challenges faced.

“Previous inquiries have made clear recommendations to improve safety, but too many of these are yet to be implemented, or are being implemented inconsistently. Midwives, maternity support workers and the wider maternity team are committed to improvements in safety, but this goes far beyond individuals. There needs to be systemic change, and that can only be achieved by all those involved – including professionals, regulators and NHS bodies – working together. The RCM has expressed its will and desire to make this happen. The Government now needs to commit fully to supporting this work at a practical level.”