March with Midwives campaigners demand urgent action on maternity ‘crisis’

Supporters of a March with Midwives event were asked to gather in towns and cities across much of the UK on Sunday.

Vigils were due to take place in England, Scotland and Wales with gatherings planned for locations including London’s Parliament Square, Birmingham and Manchester.

The organisation, which describes itself as a grassroots movement, said it is urging the Government to act now to tackle staffing shortages and safety in maternity units.

The group said it has four demands for politicians: to listen to all staff and service users and their advocates; fund emergency retention of staff; enable all qualified midwives who are willing to work and support students to enter training and finish their courses; reduce demands on staff.

The March with Midwives steering group said: “It is clear that maternity services in the UK are in crisis. Giving birth in the UK. a high-income country, is becoming critically unsafe. This is unacceptable.

Campaigners said it was now “critically unsafe” to give birth in the UK due to a staffing shortage

/ PA

“Where we have women, birthing people and babies at risk; their families, communities and countries become sick. This is a genuine national emergency which impacts every level of society.

“We call on the UK government to implement urgent crisis management and resources. Government promises are not being kept and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maternity must take responsibility for their silence and call for immediate action.”

Royal College of Midwives (RCM) executive director for external relations, Jon Skewes, backed the vigils, referencing a survey they did which suggested more than half of midwives are looking to leave their jobs.

He said: “For years, maternity services have been operating with too few staff and inadequate resources.

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