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September 19, 2022

Union Says Manx Maternity Strategy 'Urgently Needed'

Manx Care says it is 'exploring all options' to recruit midwives. This comes in the wake of the distress call made by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

The RCM says that a maternity strategy is needed urgently for the Isle of Man to improve safety for women.

Lead for the Union in the Island, Karen Murray says there were serious issues in the number of midwives as well as funding. She added that the safety and wellbeing of mothers, babies and staff were potentially being “compromised.”

Manx Care spokeswoman says that the organization was committed to work with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM to find a working strategy.

The RCM said although a review in 2019 found that there weren’t enough midwives, there had been no improvement in the numbers.

The spokeswoman also added that the implications are that birthing options were more limited than in the UK, so mums-to-be could not choose "midwife led care" or a home birth.

The RCM also pointed out a lack of consultant midwives who improve care and safety in maternity units, insufficient specialist midwives to support women with mental health problems as well as the need to provide additional training for current staff.

'Red lights flashing'

Karen Murray said that although current staff were "working incredibly hard" to ensure the safest and best maternity care, they were however not enough.

She added; "I know we are pushing at an open door with the Manx government on this, but this does need their attention now. There should be red lights flashing."

A spokeswoman for Manx Care said they were “exploring all options" so as to boost staff numbers but recruitment was "incredibly difficult" because midwives’ numbers in the UK were significantly short.

Currently, there are representatives from the RCM are visiting the island to meet Manx Care senior management and the island's midwives to discuss how to develop a maternity strategy

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