midwives-02The Royal College of Midwives has submitted evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) calling for them to make an unfettered recommendation on pay. The RCM’s view is that the pay award for 2017/18 should be a resetting of the pay structure to the Scotland rates; a restructure of bands 1-3 to deliver the living wage; and an uplift for staff based on RPI inflation (1.9% as of July 2016).

The evidence shows that there is currently a shortage of nearly 3,500 midwives in the UK and maternity units are struggling to meet the demands of the service. Maternity units are facing unprecedented challenge; they are overworked and understaffed and this has resulted in low levels of staff engagement.

Improving staff engagement can not only improve organisations’ financial performance through savings on litigation costs and sickness absence costs, but it also improves patient outcomes. Midwives and maternity support workers have never been so challenged in their ability to provide high quality and safe care.

Jon Skewes, Director of Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives said: “We are asking for the NHS Pay Review Body to break the pay cap imposed by Government and recommend a fair increase for NHS staff.

“Six years of pay stagnation in the NHS have contributed to the increasing shortages of staff including shortage of nearly 3,500 midwives. The NHS is struggling to meet the demands of the service and this is despite NHS staff working harder than ever before. Organisations are reliant on the goodwill of staff and this is leading to high levels of stress and burn out."

“Now is the time for the Government to end their policy of pay restraint and show that they value NHS staff. Investment in staff is an investment in high quality care”.