In protest for cuts and the rundown of the NHS, MIDWIVES took to the streets across the UK., which has left NHS midwifery in crisis. Hundreds have joined the vigils in 70 towns and cities of England, Wales, and Scotland to raise awareness of the maternity crisis.
From Aberdeen in north-east Scotland to Torbay near Land’s End, children, parents, midwives, and supporters started the protest, then marched and rallied over staff shortages, overwork, and yet bringing another vital health service breaking point. They need proper amendments to these situations.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) stated that almost 67 percent of midwives are unhappy and not satisfied with the safety and quality of the care they can deliver; moreover, nearly 60 percent are considering quitting.
The protests were part of the March with Midwives campaign, formed by the Maternity and Midwifery Forum, which involved midwives, maternity support workers, and other health professionals.
The protests claim that the services are at a “forced point of breaking.
‘We are facing a maternity crisis of epic proportions, and still, we rise to self-initiate the call to action required to demand improvements.
‘Far from being broken, we remain strong, are forced into acting out of resilience rather than respect and point the finger back to the broken power systems and our government for not valuing our efforts, despite our continuous demands for improvement.”
According to RCM, the Midwives’ service needs at least 3,500 more midwives as the situation worsens.
Executive director of RCM for external relations Jon Skewes said, ‘For years, maternity services have been operating with too few staff and inadequate resources.
‘NHS trusts and boards have relied on the goodwill of staff, and their genuine love of what they do, to maintain services, but the staff is reaching the end of their tether.’
He also added, ‘Last month, we published a survey that showed that 57 percent of midwives are looking to leave, and the most significant group among them are those who have only been working for five years or less.
‘The UK and national governments have to do more, not only to train and recruit new midwives into the NHS but to retain the ones we have. Staff is frankly exhausted; many feel like they have nothing left to give, and services are suffering as a result.’
Jonathan Ashworth, the Labor shadow health secretary and MP for Leicester South, posted his support for midwives on social media.
Ms. Thornley, a community midwife in Nottinghamshire, said, ‘I have been a midwife for 25 years, and it is the first time I have felt I need to act.
‘We work a 13-hour day. Most of the time, we barely have time to get a drink or go to the toilet. We are expected to look after three to four laboring women at one time. How can you give them your undivided attention?’
Midwife Sophie Inman supported the vigil on College Green in Bristol. She stated her thought about the vigil that, ‘You are part of this beautiful daily experience, but it’s being tainted by the struggles of staffing in the country.
‘At the moment, we are struggling every single day. We’re turning up to work not knowing if there’s going to be enough of us. It’s a national issue, and I’m so proud to be a part of this nationwide movement to try and eradicate that.’
RCM mentioned that ‘Midwives are being driven out of the NHS by understaffing and fears they can’t deliver safe care to women in the current system.’