Increasing birth rates have raised further concerns over the decreasing numbers of midwives.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown that in England there were 664,399 babies born in 2015 This is an increase of 2903 births on the 2014 figure when there was 661,496 babies born.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) director for England Jacque Gerrard said that these statistics show that the baby boom is continuing, but unfortunately the number of midwives is not keeping pace with the growing birth rate. ‘We are now short of 3500 midwives in England. Our midwives continually tell us of the pressures they face daily in delivering the care they want to and we know this is compromised due to chronic understaffing.’
The statistics also revealed that the trend for women to have their babies at an older age has continued throughout 2015.
Ms Gerrard said that the rise in older mothers means that again more midwives are needed as older women typically require more care during pregnancy.
A survey carried out by the RCM in June 2016 found that over half of midwives and maternity support workers said that they had seen an error, near miss or incident that could have hurt service users in the last month due to being overworked and stressed.