Women’s Institute To Debate ‘More Midwives’ Campaign
Over recent weeks my colleagues and I from the Royal College of Midwives have been out speaking at meetings of the Women’s Institute (WI) across England and Wales. We’ve spoken at over two-dozen of them, in fact. I have personally spoken to WI members in Dorset, Worcestershire, Buckinghamshire, and I even caught the sleeper train down to Cornwall to speak to WI members there.
Why have we been doing this? Well, at their AGM on 30th May more than 5,000 WI members will debate whether to make the employment of more midwives in England and Wales their organisation’s campaigning focus for the coming year. So, RCM speakers have been out informing WI meetings about the deep challenges facing NHS maternity services as a result of the shortage of midwives.
The resolution WI members will be debating and voting on will be: “There are chronic shortages of midwives. The NFWI calls on the Government to increase investment in the training, employment and retention of midwives in England and Wales to ensure services are adequately resourced and are able to deliver a high standard of care.”
Having the support of WI members in our campaign for more midwives would be a huge boost. The WI has more than 210,000 members in over 6,500 WIs, with over 21,000 new members joined in 2011. The final decision whether to support this resolution or not rests with the 5,000 or so WI members who meet at their AGM at the end of this month… keep your fingers crossed that they vote to do so.