Recruitment of 4,000 midwives25th February 2008
Labour have set a target of recruiting 4,000 more midwives in England by 2012 as a way of addressing current staff shortages.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced plans to give £3,000 to returning midwives to help with financial support, childcare and training. He added that the funding for the midwives would be generated from £330m which has been announced for maternity care.
"The number of births in England is rising...we will recruit an additional 1,000 midwives on our wards and in our communities by 2009, rising to around 4,000 by 2012," he explained.
A report produced by the Healthcare Commission early this year discovered there were significant variations in the standards of care provided in maternity services.
It showed that one in four women said they had been left by themselves while they were in labour or just following the birth. 43% stated that they had not been given the option of a home delivery.
The government had promised in the last general election that by 2009 every pregnant woman in England would be able to choose how and where to give birth. It also promised that women would be able to see the same midwife during their pregnancies.
Alan Johnson said the extra midwives would come from £330m additional funding already announced for maternity services.
Francis Day-Stirk, for the Royal College of Midwives, said the news was a positive recognition of the shortage of services available.
However she added that about half of midwives were due to retire in the next ten years.
"Definitely with the numbers that we know we're going to lose through retirement - this might just be a drop in the ocean."
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Title: Recruitment of 4,000 midwives
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5751
Date Added: 25th Feb 2008