A former Midwife of the Year has launched an online petition to drum up public support for a 1% pay rise for NHS staff.
Natalie Carter, who won the Royal College of Midwifery’s prestigious title in 2011, has highlighted the day-to-day pressures faced by midwives in her plea to health secretary Jeremy Hunt via the website Change.org.
Ms Carter, who has been a midwife for six years, explained that she loves her job and is “very proud and privileged to work as a midwife”.
“The workload is relentless but we stay because we care passionately about the women and babies in our care”
She said midwives willingly “go above and beyond” in their role, but felt their commitment was “not being valued or recognised” with many working hours of unpaid overtime to keep up with increased demand for services.
“We get in early, go home late,” she said. “We do 12 hour shifts without sometimes a break and go out in the middle of the night when we might have worked all day.”
“The workload is relentless but we stay because we care passionately about the women and babies in our care,” she added.
Ms Carter’s petition, which has already attracted nearly 1,000 signatures, calls on the government to implement the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body and “commit to keeping this well-established system for setting pay in the NHS”.
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, applauded the move.
“This petition has my full support,” she said. “What midwives and other NHS staff are asking for is just a 1% pay rise.
“The rejection of the award shows this government does not value the staff delivering care day in, day out,” she said.
RCM members went on strike last week for the first time in the organisation’s 133-year history, because of the pay dispute.
Ms Carter’s petition has prompted support and comments from fellow midwives.
“I have been a midwife for 16 years and have never felt so undervalued,” said one.