Midwives rise up in Luton to protect maternity care and services

The protest is part of a nationwide campaign

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 1:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 1:12 pm
Photo by Christopher Furlong/ Getty Images

Campaigners protesting at the current crisis in maternity services are meeting at Luton's Wardown Park on Sunday.

The event is part of a nationwide planned protest being held in every town with a maternity unit, against what campaigners say is the erosion of services in maternity care which is putting staff, mothers and babies at risk,

The march comes as the Royal College of Midwives said in a report last month that midwives were being driven out of the NHS by understaffing and fears they can’t deliver safe care to women in the current system.

It warned of a ‘midwife exodus’ in the results of its annual member experiences of work survey. Over half of midwives surveyed said they were considering leaving their job as a midwife with 57% saying they would leave the NHS in the next year.

Campaigners' demands include flexible working, a child-care stipend and flexi-time options, financial support for student midwives, the promotion of relationship-based care and a requirement to end defensive management practices that result in complaints and critical reports being buried.

A spokeswoman for the campaign at Wardown, which starts at 2pm said: "Show midwives some love!

"Midwives, maternity staff, former maternity staff, doulas, parents and anyone who has an interest in the way that Maternity Services in the UK is being run - Join us at this peaceful vigil to show solidarity with midwives working amidst the current crisis in Maternity Services - ALL WELCOME!

Join the Facebook group if you'd like to be involved with organising the vigil or offer help.