Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Worrying trends for midwives in NHS staff survey, says RCM

  • Comment

Responses given by midwives to the NHS staff survey have revealed worrying trends, including high stress-related sickness levels and that 82% of midwives have worked additional unpaid hours in the last 12 months.

The analysis of the 2012 NHS Staff Survey results by the Royal College of Midwives also found that 47% of midwives have been unwell due to stress in the last year.

The Royal College of Midwives’ chief executive Cathy Warwick acknowledged that the findings were “deeply disappointing” and “worrying”, particularly in relation to the amount of additional unpaid hours being worked.

She added that although midwives love their job and want to serve mothers, babies and families they are not being given the time to deliver high quality care. Ms Warwick called for an additional 5,000 NHS midwives in England to ensure all midwives got breaks and felt valued and appreciated.

The survey results overall show that midwives compare badly to other NHS staff in a number of indicators. At least some additional, unpaid hours were worked by 82% of midwives, compared with 58% of other NHS staff. This was up from 71% in 2010.

There was disagreement from 71% of midwives that there were enough staff at their organisation to carry out their job properly, compared with 48% of all NHS staff.

In a more positive finding, 45% of midwives claimed that they were paid for some additional hours, which is an increase from 40% in 2010 and 2011.

Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications, agreed that midwives were the backbone of the NHS.

But he added: “They (midwives) consistently work considerable unpaid overtime to give mothers and babies the care that they need and deserve. This survey shows that their motivation to deliver good care is high, but their morale is low.”

The 2012 NHS staff survey, which was open to 259 NHS organisations in England, received a response rate of 50%.

Of the 203,000 NHS staff that were invited to complete the survey, involving a self-completion postal questionnaire, only 101,169 staff responded. This rate was down from the 54% that responded in 2011.


Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.