Baby-shaped balloons will be flying high this Saturday, when an estimated 100,000+ midwives, nurses and other NHS health workers join a protest march in central London.

The TUC's March for the Alternative is a rally against the government's potential and planned cuts to the NHS.

As well as the baby-shaped balloons, midwives will be marching carrying a blue and white RCM banner, along blue and white campaign flags reading "Protect Maternity Services".They'll also be handing out blue-and-white campaign stickers reading "Protect Maternity Services."

RCM General Secretary Cathy Warwick will be at the front of the march with other trade union leaders. She said: "On Tuesday, we saw a small increase in the number of midwives hired in the NHS, but these numbers are not enough.

"What we are seeing is the tail-end of the previous government's policies to increase the number of midwives. My fear is that this may be a peak in numbers before the inevitable slide downwards as the financial pressures on the NHS start to bite.

"The RCM still believes that thousands more midwives are needed to cope with the historically high birthrate and the increasing complexity of births; all of which is putting pressure on maternity services and placing greater demands on midwives' time.

"This is why the RCM is marching for an alternative and will be joining with other public sector unions this Saturday [26th March] in London to protest at cuts to public services."

Posted by Penny Hosie on 24.3.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com