Host of celebrities and sports personalities sign petition urging Government to employ 5,000 new midwives

Jessica Raine has joined the campaign Photo: John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainmen

A host of celebrities and sports personalities have joined a campaign calling for more midwives in England.

Theo Walcott has signed the petition Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

Actress Jessica Raine and footballer Theo Walcott are a number of personalities who have signed the online petition for 5,000 more midwives.

Other stars rumoured to have signed the petition, include director Sam Taylor-Johnson and actors Pam Ferris, Stephen McGann and Terri Dwyer.

RCM have said that 5,000 more midwives are needed Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Royal College of Midwives' (RCM) online petition currently has just over 67,000 signatures and the RCM says it must reach 100,000 by August 22.

Midwife shortages in numbers

  • The latest figures show that the north-east and north-west had a shortfall of less than 10%.
  • The east Midlands and east of England needed 41% more midwives.
  • The south-east is over one-third short of staff.
  • A medium-sized maternity unit delivering 3,000 babies a year would need around 91 midwives, according to the RCM.
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have midwife shortages at the moment.

Birth rates rising in England and Wales

  • Expected births in 2012 - 423,234 males and 403,095 females.
  • There were 688,120 live births in England in 2011 up over 124,000 since the start of the baby boom in 2001.
  • There were 723,913 live births in England and Wales in 2011, compared with 723,165 in 2010 (a rise of 0.1 per cent). There were 594,634 in 2001.
  • The small rise in 2011 represents a continuation of the increasing numbers of live births recorded since 2001.
  • During this period the number of live births has risen by 22 per cent from 594,634 in 2001 despite a small fall between 2008 and 2009

To sign the e-petition visit: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13716