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Birth Rate Increase in Southampton

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2012 figures are set to beat the 2011 figure of 688,120 babies born in England, the highest number since 1971. This raises concerns about whether there are enough Midwives. RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "England remains around 5,000 midwives short of the number required to provide mothers and babies with high-quality service they need and deserve".

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "We have taken quick action and there are now over 800 more midwives in the NHS since 2010, and there are also a record 5,000 midwives in training who will qualify in the next three years". This is good news, but what happens until these midwives qualify? They will also be relatively inexperienced. A substantial number of England's working midwives will soon reach retirement age. This will intensify the problem.

Mothers and their babies need high quality maternity services. Midwives cannot be trained over night. The Government has now taken steps to increase the number of midwives in training. However, should this have been done some years ago?

Patricia Wakeford


Clinical Negligence team


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