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Southwest Midwife 'Shortage' Revealed

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7:00am 15th November 2013

The southwest is suffering a shortage of midwives.

There is supposed to be one to every28 births.

But figures uncovered by St Ives MP Andrew George reveal it is more like one to 33.

The new figures come as the baby boom continues. Births in England remain at a 40 year high with births at their highest since 1971.

The last decade alone saw a 23% increase in births. While midwife numbers have increased as a result, the RCM says they are still playing "catch up."

Cathy Warwick, the RCM’s Chief Executive, said the figures are “worrying and need urgent attention”.

She added: “There is not one midwife practising today who has seen this level of births and demands on maternity services. I am constantly meeting midwives and far too often they are telling me of the unprecedented demands on their time and their struggle to deliver the safe, high quality care they aspire to.

“Though some of these cuts were small, they are cuts nonetheless. Even static levels of funding are a concern given the increasing numbers of births and more complicated pregnancies.

“Health bosses are cutting spending blindly and we have yet to see the impact of this on staff numbers and on the care women are receiving. We recognise many regions are working hard to improve maternity services but these figures show there is still much to do.”

7:00am 15th November 2013

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