England to See Largest Ever Increase in Midwifery Training Places

Over the next four years there will be an additional 3,000 places made available on midwifery training courses in England. 

The 25% increase comes as part of a plan to meet NHS staffing needs. This plan includes the increase in nurse training places which was announced earlier.

The plan has been welcomed by the Royal College of Midwives, but has been met with caution. The RCM have stated that the plan requires funding and time to work, before benefits will be seen.

The increase in training places and the recent pay reforms are seen as some as positive steps being taken by this government to address the staffing crisis in the NHS. others have cautioned that such moves do not address the issue of retention. It has been previously noted in Nurse Station articles that working conditions are the largest contributing factor to nurses leaving the profession, outside of organic retirement. However, increasing training places should result in more nurses on the ward, as long as more nurses join than leave overall.

Jeremy Hunt has not been shy about attempting to influence working behaviours within the NHS. The “7 day NHS” campaign is perhaps the best example of this. The midwifery announcement also comes with a footnote that will place increased demand on midwifery services. He will announce on Tuesday that mothers can expect to be seen by the same midwife throughout their pregnancy. Mr Hunt will also announce plans to develop the role of maternity support workers (MSW) by creating set national standards that they must adhere to.

Do you have experience in midwifery? Tell us about your working conditions.