Revealed: Maternity services crisis with shortage of 3,500 midwives
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Maternity services are "reaching crisis point" with a shortage of 3,500 midwives in the NHS in England, according to the Royal College of Midwives' State of Maternity Services report.
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, said: "The Government is sleepwalking into a maternity care crisis that is putting the safety of new mothers and babies at risk.
"Despite repeated warnings, ministers have failed to address staff shortages at a time when midwives are already overworked and demoralised.
"Now we are reaching a point where there are not enough midwives to guarantee that new mothers and babies get the care they need. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.
"The Government must urgently find new ways to incentivise more people to train as midwives, to replace those who are close to retirement and cope with growing pressure on services. We must be prepared to recruit more midwives from overseas if necessary. The consequences of inaction could be severe."