People gathered in central London has part of nationwide protests by midwives (Picture: PA)
Midwives have staged protests across the UK to call on the Government to address the ‘crisis’ in maternity care.
Organisers of the demonstrations say more must be done to stop people leaving the profession amid warnings there soon ‘won’t be any midwives left.’
The Royal College of Midwives say staff are exhausted after years of working in wards with ‘too few staff and inadequate resources.’
Midwives gathered in central London to call for more to be done to support the profession in the UK (Picture: PA)
‘March with Midwives’ say giving birth is becoming ‘critically unsafe’ (Picture: PA)
As a result, more than half of all midwives are looking to quit, with those who joined the profession in the last five years the most likely to leave, the RCM has claimed.
A statement released by the March with Midwives organisers said: ‘It is clear that maternity services in the UK are in crisis. Giving birth in the UK, a high-income country, is becoming critically unsafe. This is unacceptable.
‘Where we have women, birthing people and babies at risk; their families, communities and countries become sick. This is a genuine national emergency which impacts every level of society.
‘We call on the UK government to implement urgent crisis management and resources. Government promises are not being kept and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maternity must take responsibility for their silence and call for immediate action.’
More than half of midwives are considering quitting the sector (Picture: PA)
The group said it has four demands for politicians: to listen to all staff and service users and their advocates; fund emergency retention of staff; enable all qualified midwives who are willing to work and support students to enter training and finish their courses; reduce demands on staff.
The RCM’s executive director for external relations, Jon Skewes, backed the vigils, saying staff are ‘reaching the end of their tether’.
He said: ‘NHS Trusts and Boards have relied on the goodwill of staff, and their genuine love of what they do, to maintain services – but staff are reaching the end of their tether.
There are calls for more midwives to be trained to address some of the issues (Picture: PA)
‘Last month, we published a survey that showed that 57% of midwives are looking to leave – and the biggest group among them are those who have only been working for five years or less.
‘The UK and national Governments have to do more, not only to train and recruit new midwives into the NHS, but to retain the ones we have.
‘Staff are frankly exhausted, many feel like they have nothing left to give – and services are suffering as a result.
‘We’re grateful to March with Midwives for highlighting the work we have been doing to get politicians and policy makers to pay attention to this untenable situation.’
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