Investing in midwifery services also means improving pay conditions, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said as part of International Day of the Midwife celebrations.
The RCM says that valuing their contribution to the NHS means they must be offered a decent pay deal. The RCM is calling on the Government to rethink their 1% pay offer for midwives and other NHS staff in England. The call follows an offer of a 4% pay award for most Scottish NHS staff from the Scottish Government.
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‘;We are seeing additional investment into maternity services and for more midwives in England, and that is very welcome. However, we must also invest in the midwives themselves, and their maternity colleagues, who work around the clock to deliver the safest and best possible care for mothers, babies, and their families. Yet they have faced years of pay freezes and pay stagnation, leaving them worse-off in real terms than a decade ago,’ said Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM.
‘The evidence shows that if you invest in midwives, you save lives. Globally millions of mothers and babies die needlessly because of a lack of skilled midwives and medical care for pregnant women. We are lucky in the UK because we have a world class maternity service, and one that is getting even better and safer. Now let us show the midwives who work in them that we really value their enormous contribution and dedication by awarding them the substantial pay increase they and their NHS colleagues deserve. Let’s really give them something to celebrate.’
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The RCM was joined in its calls for a pay rise by other organisations such as the RCN.
‘I have witnessed first-hand how midwives have gone above and beyond in their roles to keep mothers and babies safe during an unprecedented year. They have done this while competing with low staffing levels in extremely challenging circumstances while also supporting the families of the mothers and babies in their care,’ said RCN Deputy President Tracey Budding.
‘We need to continue our fight for fair pay for nurses and midwives but equally hold the government to account on the need to introduce safe staffing legislation to ensure we have enough midwives now and in the future to maintain safe care for all.’