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Post-Brexit England faces huge shortage of midwives, says RCM

‘Huge’ shortage of midwives looms if staff from European Union countries are barred from work in England after Brexit – RCM.
pregnant woman and midwife

There could be a huge shortage of midwives in England if professionals from other European Union countries cannot work in the NHS after Brexit, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) predicts.

The college obtained figures that show 1,192 full-time-equivalent midwives one in 18 of those working in England are from other EU countries. In some London trusts, the figure rises to one in three. Sixty-one of 190 midwives employed by University College London NHS Foundation Trust are from other EU states. In Barts Health NHS Trust, one fifth have come from elsewhere in the EU.

Deeply concerned

RCM director for policy and employment relations Jon Skewes said: England is now 3,500 midwives short and the RCM is deeply concerned the shortage could worsen to almost 5,000 midwives, if those from other European countries

There could be a ‘huge’ shortage of midwives in England if professionals from other European Union countries cannot work in the NHS after Brexit, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) predicts.


Brexit could make existing midwife shortage even worse  Photo: iStockphoto

The college obtained figures that show 1,192 full-time-equivalent midwives – one in 18 of those working in England – are from other EU countries. In some London trusts, the figure rises to one in three. Sixty-one of 190 midwives employed by University College London NHS Foundation Trust are from other EU states. In Barts Health NHS Trust, one fifth have come from elsewhere in the EU.

‘Deeply concerned’

RCM director for policy and employment relations Jon Skewes said: ‘England is now 3,500 midwives short and the RCM is deeply concerned the shortage could worsen to almost 5,000 midwives, if those from other European countries working for the NHS are no longer allowed work in the UK.

‘I am deeply concerned about the impact this will have on our maternity services.’

The figures come as a new coalition that includes the RCN and RCM, was launched last week to lobby on issues affecting health and social care staff post-Brexit.

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