The sharp rise in births, published by the Office for National Statistics last week, may have surprised some - but not midwives!

The rise - attributable to a baby boom and immigration - is the fastest rate of growth for 50 years. The UK population grew by 470,000 to 62.3 million in the 12 months to June last year, representing a rise of 0.8 per cent on the previous year.

Louise Silverton, Deputy General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "We have been hearing anecdotally from midwives for some time that they are seeing a rise in births and these provisional figures add weight to their comments.

"It is not just about the number of births, it is also about the number of potential births because of the general population increase. We should be planning to meet the rising demand on our maternity services and resource them effectively - and this means more midwives. Even without a rise in births the RCM estimates we are 4,500 midwives short in England."

Posted by Penny Hosie on 5.7.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com