The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has launched an NHS pay campaign urging the UK government to deliver a decent deal for midwives and other NHS staff.
The campaign is calling the government to give midwives an early and significant pay rise which will help give maternity services what they need to cope with the demands maternity units are facing right now.
It calls on government to address the severe shortage of midwives as well as providing NHS midwives with a pay rise to make the occupation more attractive to prospective new recruits.
The campaign has come shortly after the RCM conducted an all member survey which found 75% of its members felt maternity services were at breaking point due to understaffing and seven out of ten midwives have considered leaving the profession.
Commenting on the campaign, RCM CEO Gill Walton said: “It’s clear midwives and maternity support workers have had enough, and some are turning their back on the profession because they do not feel valued. Understaffing happens for a range of reasons, but we know that poor recruitment and retention into the profession over the past decade has led to significant understaffing and this is also linked to pay.
“Years of austerity have meant wages for midwives have not risen as they should and continue to have a significant financial impact on all our members.”
RCM says that putting extra money into the pockets of over 1 million NHS workers would not just acknowledge and recognise their hard work, but it would put cash into struggling local economies across the country.
“We know from our recent survey that almost 40 percent of midwives are working additional unpaid overtime to keep services running safely. This is not sustainable. We would not expect other key services in any other area to run on goodwill. Shortages will only worsen if we allow maternity staff to burn out and leave the profession for good.
“The solution is simple – deliver a decent and early pay deal for midwives and maternity support workers, show them they are valued and in turn boost recruitment and retention. This will enable maternity services to begin to have enough midwives to deliver safe services to women and their babies.”
You can help get NHS midwives and maternity support workers a significant pay rise by using #DeliveraDecentDeal across social media.
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