A shortfall of 3,500 midwives, coupled with the lack of resources across the NHS, is affecting the public health effectiveness of midwives, according to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
The report, from Public Health England and the Royal Society for Public Health, released on June 21 aims to support healthcare professionals – including midwives – to record and measure their public health impact.
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Reacting to the report, RCM director for midwifery Louise Silverton said: ‘Midwives have a vital role to play in public health through the promotion of better health for both the mother and developing baby.
'This includes work in areas such as smoking cessation, weight management and mental health. All of these have an impact on the woman and her baby and if we get can services right then midwives can make a very positive impact.’
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Ms Silverton pointed out that midwives ‘are not having the impact they could be’ as the system as it stands makes it hard for them to help as they would like to.
'Midwives are effectively trying to improve public health but with one hand tied behind their back,’ she said.