January 17 – Campaigners are seeking to step up efforts to force a parliamentary debate for more midwives. An e-petition set up by the Royal College of Midwives has now passed its first milestone – 25,000 signatures. Campaigners have to get 100,000 signatures and may then get a parliamentary debate on the petition. The midwife petition has to reach the total by August 22nd this year.
The midwives highlight the record number of births in England in 2010 – the highest number in nearly 40 years. And they point out the increasing number of births to women over the age of 30.
RCM chief executive, Cathy Warwick, who launched the petition, stated: “The NHS is desperately short of midwives, and the shortage affects every region of England.
“We need urgent action from the government, including a target to recruit the equivalent of 5000 more full-time midwives.
“Care for women but especially babies at the very start of life should be shielded from the cuts.”