Commenting on new figures from the Health And Social Care Information Centre on nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff numbers in the NHS, Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "There are more midwives in the NHS and this is good news.

"However there are still not enough because the number of births is far outstripping the increase in midwives. The RCM believes that 5000 more midwives are needed now to ensure women across England receive safe, high quality care. 

"I am also concerned if there has been a big fall in nurse and health visitor numbers. High quality care is needed across the NHS and I agree with Peter Carter of the RCN that you cannot take so many nurses out of the system without care being adversely affected."

Posted by penny.hosie@pavpub.com