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More Midwives

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  • BREAKING NEWS - JANUARY 2017 NFWI publishes new report investigating women’s experiences of maternity services. Click here to read it  
  • For an overview of the WI’s campaign for more midwives click here
  • WI members take action here
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. - Horwich WI, Lancashire Federation, 2012

Campaign Overview & Timeline

June 2012: With a 96% majority, members at the NFWI Annual Meeting pass a resolution calling for an end to the shortage of midwives.

August 2012: Members across over 6,000 individual WIs receive campaign briefing information from the NFWI and start to plan how they are going to make a difference in their local communities and nationally.

3 May 2013: Members across the country take part in action-day to mark International Day of the Midwife. They meet with their elected officials and discuss their concerns about maternity care.

5 May 2013: The NFWI publishes a major report examining the experiences of 5,500 women who gave birth in England or Wales between 2007-2012. The report – Support Overdue (2013) – helps to galvanise a national conversation about the current failures in the maternity  service  and  highlights  the  desperate  need  for more midwives. Members and the Chair of the NFWI appear on national media outlets to publicise the report’s findings.

July 2013: The NFWI announces the winner of the ‘More Midwives’ photography competition

October 2013: Chair of NFWI Public Affairs Marylyn Haines Evans meets with the then Minister of Health Dr. Dan Poulter and presents a petition signed by 30,000 WI members demanding action for more midwives

February 2014: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is commissioned by the NHS to issue the first ever safe staffing guidance for midwifery settings. The NFWI contributes evidence to NICE to help inform their conclusions.

October 2014: In conjunction with the RCM, RCOG, and baby charity Bliss, the NFWI hosts breakfast briefing events at Labour and Conference party conferences to discuss the findings of our research and push for increased investment in maternity services.

October 2014: The NFWI meets with Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, to discuss the campaign and the concerns of the NFWI.

February 2015: NICE publishes the first ever guidance for safe staffing in maternity settings.

May 2015: As part of the WI’s centenary celebrations, the NFWI publishes Looking Back, a historical overview of WI members’ experiences of maternity care from the 1950’s until today. The NFWI also releases an accompanying animated video which is viewed over  10,000  times.

February 2016: NHS England’s National Maternity Review is published, citing NFWI research. The NFWI contributed to the evidence used in the Review. The Review recommends wide-ranging changes to how maternity services should be organised and how midwives will deliver care moving  forward.

June 2016: The NFWI contributes evidence to the Health Select Committee’s maternity services inquiry. NFWI research is discussed during the evidence session hearing.

17 January 2017: The NFWI publishes its second report into women’s experiences of maternity services. Support Overdue (2017) found widespread, clinically unsafe conditions in labour wards across the country.

17 January 2017: The NFWI contributes supplementary evidence to the Health Select Committee for their second hearing on the implementation of the National Maternity Review. WI members across the country take part in a letter writing action, encouraging their MPs to share Support Overdue (2017) with the Department of Health.