'How long can we carry on for?' - Ipswich midwife organises vigil over maternity pressures

Colchester Hospital is suffering a shortage of midwives. Stock photo.

A vigil for midwives has been organised in Ipswich - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An Ipswich midwife has organised a vigil alongside a national campaign to highlight the difficulties midwives and other health professionals are facing.

Nearly half of midwives are considering leaving the job in the next year, with more than 90% saying they don't feel valued by the Government, according to the Royal College of Midwives.

Hannah Bridges, who has been a midwife for nine years and currently works at Ipswich Hospital, has organised a March with Midwives vigil on Sunday, November 21 at 2pm outside Ipswich town hall.

"It's a brilliant team, we're all pulling together to do our best but we just feel like more needs to be done to retain staff," Hannah said.

"More funding and more support from the government and for that to come through to the local trusts."

In October, West Suffolk Hospital’s interim chief executive, Craig Black, acknowledged the concerns of midwives after they wrote to the Care Quality Commission over their conditions.

Meanwhile, maternity services at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals were found to require improvement after inspections by the CQC earlier this year, with concerns over staff shortages raised.

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Inspectors said both hospitals did not have enough nursing and midwifery staff to keep women and babies safe. The hospitals said they were already taking action over any problems.

Hannah said: "As midwives we just have a love for what we do, but then there comes a point where you just think, how long can we carry on for?

"You're not doing it for the money, you're doing it for the families that you're looking after."

Grassroots campaign March with Midwives have four main points they want to achieve: Listen - to all staff and service users and their advocates, Fund - emergency retention of staff, Enable - all qualified midwives who are willing to work and support students to enter training and finish their courses and Reduce the demands on staff.

The group wants an immediate pay rise of 12% for midwives, financial support for student midwives and posts created for all newly qualified midwives.

To find out more visit: twitter.com/midwivesmarch.

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