The NHS Staff Survey 2015, which saw 3,725 responses from midwives, highlights the pressures members of staff faced during 2015.
Results showed that 50% said they had experienced work-related stress within the twelve months of 2015 and 70% said they “felt pressure to attend work when they were feeling unwell”.
Responding to the survey results, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and communications for the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Jon Skewes said: “These latest NHS staff survey results are shocking but not surprising, midwives day in day out face enormous pressure due to understaffing and an increased birth rate. Midwives are the backbone of the NHS, they work tirelessly to deliver the highest quality care to women and their babies, often without fair overtime payments and to have almost 4,000 midwives suffering work related stress is deeply concerning.
“We hear daily from our members of their frustrations and fears about delivering a high quality safe service with inadequate levels of staffing at their units, this is undoubtedly one of the primary causes of work related stress. The RCM fears this type of worry and stress will deepen as we remain 2,600 midwives short in England.”
In June this year, the RCM announced that it would introduce a health, safety, and well-being campaign, to provide advice and support to midwives on how to cope with work-related stress.
The campaign has been prompted following the union’s Heads of Midwifery survey results, published October 2015, showing that midwives and maternity support workers were working long hours without taking any breaks.
“The campaign also aims to raise awareness amongst employers of the long-term value in promoting well-being amongst maternity staff,” Jon Skewes added.
For full details of the survey, please visit the NHS Staff Surveys website.
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