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Nurses blocked from midwifery

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Nurses are struggling to gain access to midwifery conversion courses, despite new workforce figures released this week that highlight a significant shortage of midwives.

Figures collated by the NHS Workforce Review Team suggest there will be a shortfall of 2,000 to 3,000 whole-time equivalent midwives by 2012. But the WRT has also revealed that the number of 18-month second-registration commissions for midwifery has fallen from 757 in 2003–2004 to a ten-year low of 494 in 2007–2008.

'We know many nurses who want to become midwives but can’t get on to training courses,' RCN midwifery adviser Carolyn Basak told NT.

Jon Skewes, RCM director of employment relations, said: 'Encouraging nurses to do 18-month conversion courses is important because they don’t take so long to train.'

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