Midwife shortage dangerously high

Published on Google.com, by The UK Press Association, Sept. 15, 2011.

Parts of England are facing a dangerous shortage of midwives as Britain’s birthrate climbs, the Royal College of Midwives has warned. While there are shortfalls across the country, some areas are worse than others, putting mothers and babies at risk. Midwife numbers have not kept pace with the birthrate in England, which has risen 22% in the past two decades, and the RCM has urged David Cameron to honour a pre-election pledge to recruit more midwives. 

The RCM report said 4,700 more midwives were needed across England to keep up with added pressures, including growing numbers of obese and older pregnant women. Figures showed that the north-east and north-west had a shortfall of less than 10%, while the east Midlands and east of England needed 41% more midwives. The south-east was said to be more than one-third short of staff. While the north-east needed 91 extra midwives, the south-east required 1,015 more … //

… Elizabeth Duff, the senior policy adviser at the parenting charity NCT, said: “Midwife shortages are already having an appalling impact on maternity services. “Women in need of midwifery care cannot be left to languish on an ever-lengthening waiting list – they need care right away. Midwives are a unique resource, whose expertise in caring for women and their babies is not replicated by any other health professional. “NCT joins in the call for sufficient midwives in post now, and more student places for those in training, so families can have confidence in improved maternity care for the future.” (full text).

Links:

same issue on The Guardian, by PA, Sept. 15, 2011;

Health sector neglect blamed for staff flight, on The Citizen Daily /Tanzania, by Songa wa Songa, Sept. 20, 2011;

Midwifery on en.wikipedia;

Newborn’s Death Revives Debate over Mandatory Midwife Licensing, on 670KBOI Radio/TV, Idaho/USA, by Eugene, Oregon, Sept. 20, 2011;

Midwife shortage leading women to consult doulas, on International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics FIGO, 7th October 2009;

Midwife Job description, on Prospects;

Mid-multi-wife, on Broken Births, not dated.

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