A SPECIAL ‘March with Midwives’ vigil this weekend will call on the Government to improve conditions for healthcare workers who deliver babies and maternity care.
The event – at the Bromsgrove BirdBox from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, November 21 – is to demand midwives’ concerns are listened to and services are funded properly.
Campaigners say systemic failings have crippled the service for a generation and an already stressful situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
They want the Government, health ministers and All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) to hold an urgent consultation to undertake a system-wide diagnosis to address the immediate crisis.
They are also calling for an immediate 12 per cent pay rise for midwives, back-dated to the start of the pandemic and financial support for student midwives, creating posts for newly-qualified staff.
By enabling self-employed midwives to take up posts, campaigners say it would immediately add 250 to the workforce.
And they want the Government to stump up £5million crisis funding to third sector organisations for the provision of breastfeeding support and ante-natal education to take pressure off midwifery staff.
Campaigners say with the current crisis, midwives and clients are at risk of harm and 2021 has seen the service become critically unsafe for both staff and users.
They claim statistics show for every 30 newly-qualified midwives, 29 are leaving meaning midwifery skills are being lost and the profession is being eroded.
A recent Royal College of Midwives (RCM) survey shows 60 per cent of current staff are considering leaving.
Emily Field will be showing her support for the campaign in Bromsgrove on Sunday along with her mum Gail, a retired midwife and registered nurse, her nan Janet Pearson and daughter Eryn who was delivered by midwives at the Worcestershire Royal four months ago.
They add Bromsgrove’s event is particularly key, with it being Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s constituency.
Emily wants people to join them and ‘help midwives be heard’.
“Midwifery services are at breaking point and becoming unsafe for staff and users.
“We want people to come forward and show their support for midwives – we need to protect and preserve the profession for future generations to come.”
Campaigners say they are aware of the current Government measures to address the crisis but say more support is needed for maternity services.
Other March with Midwives vigils are taking place across the country – all at 2pm.
People can also show their support on social media by using the #MarchWithMidwives or #midwivesmarch hashtags.