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Loss of EU midwives would stretch maternity services

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The UK voted to leave the EU in June The UK voted to leave the EU in June

The RCM has called for all midwives from EU nations to be given assurances that they can stay in the UK. It comes after figures obtained by the organisation showed that the loss of EU staff could leave the English NHS short of almost 5000 midwives.

According to the RCM the loss of 1192 European midwives currently working in England, added to the current shortfall of 3500, will create unbearable strains.

‘To lose over 1000 midwives will impact hugely on an already overstretched and struggling maternity service,’ said Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy and employment relations. ‘It is also immensely unfair that hardworking midwives working for our NHS should be left in limbo as to their future employment rights in this country.’

In London alone, 16%, or 674 full-time midwives, of the total midwifery workforce comes from other EU countries. At one trust in central London, 32.2% are from elsewhere in the EU.

But the situation is acute elsewhere. Several trusts outside of the capital reported 10% of their maternity staff as originating from another European country.

‘The government needs to provide assurance on job security not only to these midwives, but for thousands of other NHS workers from other EU countries,’ says Mr Skewes.

‘The RCM is calling on the government to clarify the working situation for hardworking NHS staff from other EU countries post Brexit sooner rather than later.’

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