There appears to have been a surge in media coverage regarding the provision of midwifery services. The effects of austerity are still being felt and we continue to reap what others have sown.
Under the Freedom of Information Act it has been revealed that, in England at some point in 2017, nearly half of maternity units closed to new mothers (Labour Party, 2018). Capacity and staffing issues were the most common reason for closures. Maternity units are understaffed and under pressure.
The national midwife shortage continues. The NHS in England is short of the equivalent of almost 2500 full-time midwives (Bonar, 2019), despite the fact that, in 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2015) issued guidelines covering safe midwifery staffing in all maternity settings.
Closure of units and lack of staff have an impact not only on mothers and their families but also on those midwives who are striving to practice to the highest of standards.
Register now to continue reading
Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:
Limited access to clinical or professional articles
Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content