The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has launched its General Election manifesto, highlighting five key priorities they hope to see from the next Parliament.
Chief Executive and General Secretary at the RCM, Gill Walton, said: “The priorities laid out in the RCM’s manifesto are straightforward and informed by our own research and what our members are telling us is desperately need to improve the maternity services they deliver for women and their families.”
Help our student midwives make ends meet
Since the removal of the bursary for midwives and nurses in 2017, a study by RCM showed that three-quarters of student midwives are now having to rely on friends and family for financial support.
The RCM wants the government to learn from what has happened and offer improved financial support to those in training.
Review the resources that maternity services get
It is estimated that England is short of 2,500 midwives. 2,000 midwives are trained every year however the NHS midwifery workforce grew by just 33 in the last 12 months.
The RCM is calling for a root and branch review of what’s needed and a plan to deliver it.
Champion midwifery leadership
The RCM says that the midwifery leadership is a vital part of delivering safe high-quality maternity care. To champion midwifery leadership, the RCM is calling for a Director of Midwifery in every trust, alongside a Head of Midwifery and specialist midwives. This ask also includes the need to champion midwifery research and education through strengthening midwifery leadership in universities.
Give people the final say on Brexit
The RCM believes that the people must have the final say on Brexit. Over 1,300 midwives in the NHS are from other EU countries and provide care for tens of thousands of women every year. Losing them would be detrimental to NHS maternity services.
Improve maternal mental health care
A UK wide RCM survey found over one third of maternity services do not employ any specialist maternal mental health midwives.
The RCM is calling for all NHS Trusts in England to employ maternal mental health specialist midwives so women can get the support they need.
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