'March with midwives' protest in Manchester over staff shortages and safety concerns

Tori Johnson NHS midwife and new mum from Bury

Mothers and health workers have taken part in a 'March with Midwives' in Manchester to highlight concerns over the protest over the safety of maternity services in Greater Manchester.

Organisers say the service is critically unsafe for families and staff, due to chronic staff shortages.

Midwives with posters calling for more staff Credit: ITV Granada

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) estimate that the UK is short of more than 3,500 midwives.

A most recent survey by the RCM found that 60% of staff are considering leaving the profession; citing inadequate staffing levels and concern for the quality and safety of care they are currently able to deliver.

New midwives continue to join the profession but for every 30 newly qualified midwives joining the profession, 29 are leaving.

Parents and health care workers joined the March with midwives in Manchester Credit: ITV Granada

One midwife at the protest in Manchester's St Peter's Square described the situation as a leaking bucket, where they do not have sufficient staff to provide the care they want.

Some of those in the crowd dressed in 'Call the Midwife' costumes from the TV show set in the 1950s and 60s, to highlight the poor facilities.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:

“We value the hard work of midwives and are committed to supporting them, including by investing £127 million to NHS maternity services to boost the workforce and improve neonatal care. "

"This is on top of £95 million invested into establishing 1,200 new midwife roles and 100 consultant obstetricians, ensuring we have the staff in place to deliver high-quality, safe care, with £26.5m targeted at improving multi-disciplinary training. “

We gave over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, on top of a 3% pay increase last year, increasing pay by £1,000 on average despite a public sector pay freeze.”