On 30th May 2017, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has published its Manifesto for the upcoming UK General Election, highlighting better outcomes for pregnant women in its priorities.
In the manifesto of RCM, it stated that midwife shortages were another important issue for politicians to focus on. It says having too few midwives make it harder to make sure that women have better continuity in the midwives they see throughout and after their pregnancy possibly undermine care and outcomes.
The manifesto also draws attention to the public health roles that nurses play in supporting women and families after the birth. If midwives have the time to inspire women to breastfeed, for example, it will help the mother give the child the best nutritional start. It can help to prevent ill health and ultimately save the NHS money.
Another most important issue is fair pay for National Health Service (NHS) midwives and maternity support workers. The manifesto has called for the NHS Pay Review Body to be allowed to make suggestions on pay without any restriction from the government.
Moreover, there are about 1,300 midwives from other EU countries working in the UK, and the RCM urges the government to act immediately to secure the right of these midwives to remain in the UK post-Brexit. Losing these midwives will only worsen the current shortage.
The chief executive officer of the RCM, Cathy Warwick said that they are calling on the government in power after the election to invest in the NHS, invest in midwives and maternity support workers.
She further added that RCM have seen pay restraint and pay freezes which means midwives and other NHS staff are significantly worse off, indeed have effectively had a £6000 pay cut. Investing in staff is an investment in the NHS and an investment in patient care.
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