Released on: 25 July 2022

In response to the Health and Social Care Committee’s report on Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care released today, NCT’s Senior Policy Adviser, Elizabeth Duff said:  

“The UK is 'facing the worst NHS staffing crisis in its history’, meaning that, everyday, babies are being born into a system of maternity care that is not equipped to support them, putting parents and babies at serious risk.  

“Safety for parents and babies is paramount; every parent must receive personalised, skilled and compassionate care that responds to their individual needs at every stage of the maternity journey. In its current state the NHS is unable to offer this.  

“The Committee rightly emphasises the heightened risks for some women who are Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority, and calls for these disparities to be tackled immediately, alongside a recruitment plan to increase the ethnic diversity of people going into midwifery. 

“The NCT has been calling for action on maternity staffing for a decade, since its landmark report ‘Support Overdue’, published in 2013, which demonstrated frequent ‘red flag’ incidents in maternity, indicating staff unable to provide best practice in a timely fashion. 

“We urgently need a credible government strategy and major investment to ensure a safe, skilled maternity workforce who feel valued and supported in their roles.”  

You can read the report here.

Notes to Editors: 

NCT is currently conducting a survey among anyone who has given birth in the past year, asking for experiences of maternity care. We aim to analyse the data to understand where services have been understaffed and this has had impact on parents and babies. 

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