MIDWIVES MATTER Support urgent government investment into maternity services

MIDWIVES MATTER Support urgent government investment into maternity services

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Cheryl Samuels started this petition to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (UK Government)

MIDWIVES MATTER Maternity services are currently in crisis. With an estimated shortage of 2,000 full time midwives by the Royal College of Midwives, maternity services are suffering chronic staff shortages and unprecedented pressure caused by an increased workload. 

In a recent survey by The Royal College of Midwives 57% of members are considering leaving their role as a midwife or MSW and 84% of members are not happy with the staffing levels. Sadly 96% of those working in the NHS five years or less do not feel valued by the government. 

These are not new findings, with The U.K. Whelm Study in 2018 exposing the high levels of burnout and mental health illnesses suffered by midwives in the U.K. and with not enough investment or support from the government, the global pandemic has rapidly exacerbated these issues.

A recent government report in July 2021 by MPs called for urgent action to address staffing shortfalls in maternity services, along with an increase in budget for maternity services by a minimum of £200 - £350 million per year. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmhealth/19/1902.htm 

The Ockenden publication of the Independent Review of maternity services at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust released on the 30th of March 2022 states -

“NHS Providers, as cited in the recent Select Committee report has estimated the cost of full expansion of the maternity services workforce to be £200m - £350m. We endorse and support this view.” https://www.ockendenmaternityreview.org.uk/

On the 24th of March 2022 the government announced a £127 million funding boost for maternity services across England, which is well below the recommendation of £200-£350 million in July 2021. We need the government to follow the advice of the select committee and the Ockenden report, to fund maternity services appropriately and safely. 

To ensure the safety of women, birthing people, our babies and all maternity staff we need urgent public support to increase pressure on the government to end this crisis with quick action, support and investment before the damage is irreversible. Please show your support by signing and sharing this petition and together we can provide better maternity services for everyone.

Cheryl Samuels

Registered Midwife, BSc (Hons).     Professional Midwifery Advocate        Midwifery lecturer at the University of Suffolk. 

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