This week the government are set to announce a 25% boost in places on midwifery courses, in a battle to meet staffing demands.
The increase in places is said to be the ‘largest ever’ in NHS midwives and maternity staff. It will see more than 3,000 places become available over the next four years in England.
The new measures will start by creating an extra 650 midwifery training places next year, before going on to create a further 1000 with the rest spread over the following two years. The plans also include a new defined maternity support worker role, and the introduction of new training routes into midwifery.
The decision has been welcomed by the Royal College of Midwifery, which agrees it is a step forward, however said the plan needs investment and time to make it work.
Gill Walton, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is the start if a journey that will enable midwives to be behind moving to more innovative ways of caring for women. It is also a positive step towards safer services.”
The changes to services in England will start with a target of one in five women benefiting from the ‘continuity of carer’ model by 2019, with the plan for the majority of mothers to be seen by the same midwife throughout labour, pregnancy and birth by 2021.