Log In
Wednesday 13th December 2017

Midwives 'overstretched'

13th June 2007

Figures released by the Conservative Party are claiming that midwives are delivering 25% more babies than experts feel are appropriate.


Opposition politicians also claim the government failed to anticipate a big rise in the birth rate in England.

They say this has left midwives under intense pressure and the government looking vulnerable in its plan to offer all women a choice of where to give birth by 2009.

Live births in England increased by 12.5% (71,000) since 2001 with a 26-year high of 635,679 recorded last year. But the number of midwives has only risen by 4.5% in that time.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley argued a shortage of midwives was jeopardising the future of some maternity-led units as midwives were being deployed to larger consultant-led units. He also said pressure placed on midwives explained why the rate of home births is relatively low.

He said: “Labour are trying to pursue a policy for which they do not have the staff.�

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) recommends each midwife should deliver 27.5 babies a year but at present in England that was 33.7. A recent RCM survey also showed that while 75% of units had seen a rise in births, 80% did not have enough staff to cope.

General Secretary Dame Karlene Davis said the problem would be compounded because almost 45% of midwives were set to retire over the next 10 years.

The Department of Health accused the Conservatives of “irresponsible scaremongering�, adding there were now 2,423 more midwives than a decade ago.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Midwives 'overstretched'
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3122
Date Added: 13th Jun 2007


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

National investigators to lead baby death investigation

All babies should be screened for heart defects


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


M3 - For secure managed hosting over N3 or internet
© Mayden Foundation 2017