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Birthrate ‘hitting maternity care’


11 August, 2008  

The number of midwives who have been verbally abused at work is in excess of half of those currently working, according to a new survey.

The research by the Royal College of Midwives found that 55% reported being verbally abused at work.

The survey also revealed that the majority of the 2,489 surveyed were worried about the quality of maternity care they could provide, with many pointing to the 16% rise in the birthrate since 2001 as being partially to blame.

Just under a third (31%) reported seeing their workload increase, cutting the time they can spend with women in their care, with almost four in 10 (38%) saying quality of care has been negatively impacted by the rising birthrate.

Almost all (91%) of midwives felt the birthrate had risen in their unit over the last year.

Many felt under pressure, with 38% rarely taking a break at work, and 48% only getting a break sometimes. Just 8% said they always managed to take their break.

Three-quarters (74%) of midwives were working up to 10 extra hours a week, with 14% working between 11 and 20 extra hours a week.

Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “We are going to see a haemorrhage in the profession if the conditions midwives work in are not addressed.”

Copyright PA Business 2008

Royal College of Midwives