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government-promises-more-midwives

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2:19 am
April 4, 2018


nockjones825

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posts 1

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The health and social care
secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a range of measures for England’s maternity
services, including a plan to train more than 3000 extra midwives over four
years. 

The
plan begins with 650 more midwives in training next year, a new
defined MSW role and introducing new training routes into midwifery. 

The
government is also promising that the majority of women will receive care from
the same midwives throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth by
2021.

 https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/hunt_istock.jpg

The plans are part of Jeremy Hunt’s drive to make the NHS the safest place in
the world to give birth. Toshiba Customer Support

 

He is due to speak at the ‘Maternity Transformation Programme: 2 Years On’
event tomorrow (27 March), and is expected to announce that steps towards
achieving this ambition will start with 20% of women benefitting from a
continuity of carer model by March 2019. 

 

The government will be working with key partners such as the RCM to develop new
training routes into midwifery, so that talented support workers can develop and
move quickly to become registered midwives and help the midwifery
profession attract and retain talented staff. 

RCM
chief executive Gill Walton said that the announcement is a ‘very long overdue’
acknowledgement by the government that England’s maternity services need more
midwives. She highlighted how the RCM has been campaigning to get successive
governments to eradicate the midwife shortage for well over a decade. 

‘This
is recognition that this government has been listening to us,’ Gill said.

 

She added: ‘It will come as some relief to NHS midwives who have been working
incredibly hard, for many years, with increasing demands and inadequate
resources. This is the start of a journey that will enable midwives to begin
moving to more innovative ways of caring for women. It is also a positive step
towards safer services. 

 

Gill said that the commitment to more continuity of care is good news because
the evidence is clear that this is the best way to provide the safest and
highest quality care for women and their babies. 

‘The
priority for all maternity services is ensuring every woman has a named midwife
during pregnancy and one-to-one care in labour. This is what maternity services
are currently struggling to provide universally and consistently and this is
why the new staff will be so crucial. When services are confident of this
then they can move on to greater continuity of care for women,’ she added. Canon UK Helpline

 

‘While we welcome the commitment to continuity of care, it is ambitious. The
additional midwives who start training next year won't be qualified midwives
working in our maternity services until 2022. That will make a difference and
it will begin to have an impact on the workload of midwives, but it will not
transform maternity services right now. It will take seven or eight years
before all of the new midwives announced today will be actually working in our
maternity services. This will be offset to some extent by the extra MSWs
promised. This will help make the staffing overall feel better, though we need
to see details about how many more MSWs there will be.’

Gill
stated that simply training more midwives is only half of the problem. The
other key issue is ensuring that when these midwives qualify they actually get
jobs in the NHS. 

‘We
must get a commitment from the government and trusts to employ them.
Trusts are going to need an increase in the money they get so they can employ
the new midwives,’ she said.

 

‘The recognition of the importance of MSWs and the commitment to invest in
their training is also very good news. Again this is something the RCM has
been fighting for and working towards for many years.

 

‘We applaud the announcement but would urge some patience. Until these midwives
and MSWs are actually working, maternity services will continue struggling to
provide existing care where the focus is rightly safety first,’ said
Gill. 

 

She added that midwives everywhere could now be confident that the government
is serious about supporting maternity care, if these midwives are trained in
the numbers announced. And, if they get real jobs in our NHS then there's every
reason to believe we’ll see the transformation of England’s maternity services
in the coming years: ‘We look forward to working with the government to
make this very, very welcome commitment a reality.

 

‘The agreement on pay reached this week between the health unions and the
government will also help to support this announcement. It will help our
maternity services to retain the midwives they have and it will aid the
recruitment of more into the profession.’



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