Student midwives will today take a trip back to the 1950s to raise awareness for a campaign calling for more midwives in England.
On vintage bikes and clad in cornflower blue uniforms, 25 training medics will emulate the hit BBC1 drama Call the Midwife to highlight the Royal College of Midwives’ (RCM) online petition for 5,000 more midwives.
The petition currently has 58,800 signatures and the RCM says it must reach 100,000 by August 22.
In the last decade the number of births in the country has risen by more than 22% but over the same period the number of midwives has risen by less than 17%, an RCM spokeswoman said.
RCM president Lesley Page said: “The Government know there is a dire shortage of midwives, and is committed to training more midwives, but what is needed are more midwifery jobs for students once they qualify. They are our future.
“It is pointless training more midwives if they cannot get employment. The RCM has been saying for a long time that without real and sustained investment in midwives, change is hard to achieve.
“Our view is that in order to deliver high-quality maternity care for mothers and babies proposed by the Government, we need 5,000 more midwives.”
Event organiser and first-year midwifery student Rebecca Ashley, 27, added: “We are passionate about our future jobs as midwives, and the future of maternity services in England.
“We want more midwives recruited so we can have a future and continue the important role of being present at a pivotal time in women’s lives when we qualify.”
The students will cycle through London before congregating in Westminster where they plan to meet MPs to remind them of the importance of protecting maternity services.