- 5 updates
Several maternity units have closed this year, including three birth centres in the East Midlands and units in Canterbury and Dover.
- The average number of births per midwife has worsened recently and RCM estimate the UK is short of 5,150 full-time equivalent midwives
- More than a quarter of UK heads of midwifery told RCM that their budget has been cut in the last 12 months
- In a poll of 2,000 midwives, 89% said they did not feel able to give women all the care and support they need
- Newly-qualified midwives are struggling to find jobs and a third of new midwives are unemployed
- Of these, almost a half (47%) have been looking for a job for more than three months
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, which will be the highest number since 1971, according to the Royal College of Midwives.
This year 4,600 more babies were born between January and March than last year, while NHS maternity services are being cut back nationally.