Hospital Midwife Gives Newborn Baby to a Mother image by By Gorodenkoff AdobeStock_223037670

Investing in midwives also means investing in their pay, says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) as the College and its members celebrate International Day of the Midwife (IDM) today (5 May 2021).

Echoing the day’s theme, ‘Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives’, the RCM said that this also means valuing their contribution with a decent pay deal.

The RCM is calling on the Government to rethink its 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.

Gill Walton, chief executive of the RCM, said:

“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.”

IDM is led globally by the International Confederation of Midwives. This year midwives and maternity staff across the UK will be coming together to celebrate at local and regional levels in a range of virtual events.

Gill Walton said:

“The IDM theme is absolutely right. 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.”