The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed the announcement that funding for maternity and neonatal services in England will not be subject to a funding freeze, following a letter from NHS England telling Trusts that the health service is running perilously short of money.
Dr Suzanne Tyler, Executive Director of Trade Union at the RCM, said: “While we acknowledge that this will be an incredibly difficult time for our colleagues elsewhere in the NHS, we are grateful that NHS England has listened to our plea to maintain the level of funding and investment in maternity services to protect safety. To have done otherwise would have been incredibly damaging to the ability of midwives, maternity support workers and other maternity staff to deliver safe care to women and families. We already know the impact that can have, and we are pleased to be working with Trusts and others to bring about positive change. This commitment to the continuation of funding should not be underestimated and we strongly urge Trusts to honour this commitment.
“Recent reviews by Dr Bill Kirkup and Donna Ockenden have called on the Government and on NHS bodies to address the chronic maternity workforce shortage and to invest in the safety of services. We hope that today’s announcement will go some way to make those recommendations a reality.”