A study has revealed that midwives are leaving the profession because of excessive workloads and poor staffing levels.
48% of respondents said the excessive workload was one of the key reasons they left or wanted to leave, with 62% claiming to be dissatisfied over staffing levels.
52% said they felt unhappy with the standard of care they were able to give.
The report ‘Why Midwives Leave’ has been published by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), shortly before the union’s annual conference and exhibition.
Over 2,000 midwives across the UK, who have left the profession in the last two years or who are intending to leave within the next two years, responded to the study.
As well as reasons for leaving, midwives were also asked what would encourage them to return to the profession.
88% said they would ‘likely’ or ‘quite likely’ return to midwifery if staffing levels improved, with 83% saying they would return if the workload eased.
Chief Executive of the RCM, Cathy Warwick, said: “That so many midwives have left or intend to leave is saddening, dispiriting and worrying. I read the comments of the midwives in the report with increasing distress and concern, for them and for mothers and babies.
“Maternity services are performing as well as they are on the backs of the selfless dedication of midwives and other maternity staff, and their capacity to go that extra mile for mothers and babies, day after day. However, this shows that many cannot fight that battle any longer.”
When it came to the morale of midwives, 35% said they felt midwifery was valued by their employer and just 9% said they felt midwifery was valued by the Government.
The full report can be found here:
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