More than three-quarters of midwives think staffing levels in their NHS trust or board are unsafe, according to a survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
The RCM said services were at breaking point, with 42% of midwives reporting that shifts were understaffed and a third saying there were “very significant gaps” in most shifts.
Midwives were under enormous pressure and had been “pushed to the edge” by the failure of successive governments to invest in maternity services, said Gill Walton, the chief executive of the RCM.
“Maternity staff are exhausted, they’re demoralised and some of them are looking for the door. For the safety of every pregnant woman and every baby, this cannot be allowed to continue,” she said.
“Midwives and maternity support workers come into the profession to provide safe, high-quality care. The legacy of underfunding and underinvestment is robbing them of that – and worse still, it’s putting those women and families at risk.”
RCM press release
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Source: The Guardian, 16 November 2020