The biggest baby boom in 40 years is expected just as maternity cutbacks hit hospitals. New figures suggest more than 700,000 babies will be born in England this year, according to the Royal College of Midwives.
What is so frustrating is that there is a clear need for more midwives. We have record-breaking birth figures and we need all the midwives we can get.
We're training midwives, but we're not recruiting them. That is a sad waste of all their time and effort, and a waste of taxpayers' money too.
– CATHY WARWICK, RCM CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Several maternity units have closed this year, including three birth centres in the East Midlands and units in Canterbury and Dover.
The units that have closed are the tip of the iceberg. A 10th of the heads of midwifery who responded to our recent survey told us that they have a midwife-led unit in their area that is in danger of closure.