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The £97m bill for ‘midwife scarcity’

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UK maternity gadgets are turning to pricey transient staffing preparations akin to time beyond regulation and company body of workers to plug gaps in midwife rotas, union leaders say.

Royal College of Midwives knowledge confirmed the bill hit just about £100m in 2016, with products and services having to pay hourly charges two times as top as the standard charges.

The union mentioned that was once sufficient to hide the “national shortage” of three,500 body of workers.

The findings come because the RCM’s annual convention were given below means in Manchester.

It compiled the figures the use of the Freedom of Information Act, receiving responses from 159 native maternity products and services, with regards to 99% of the ones requested.

Services have been requested for their spending on 3 sorts of transient staffing preparations:

  • time beyond regulation
  • company body of workers
  • the NHS financial institution, successfully the well being carrier’s in-house company carrier

A complete of £97m was once spent final 12 months.

By a ways the largest house of spending was once at the NHS financial institution, which accounted for two-thirds of the bill.

The RCM mentioned the reality maternity products and services have been turning to those preparations on this type of scale confirmed the carrier was once “under-staffed and under-resourced”.

It additionally highlighted the degrees of pay required to get those body of workers to fill shifts – the typical hourly spend on company body of workers was once £43.65, when put next with £18.20 for a body of workers midwife with 10 years’ enjoy in England and Wales.

RCM director of coverage Jon Skewes mentioned: “The use of transient midwives to body of workers everlasting shortages is counterproductive and smacks of short-termism when there must be good and strategic long-term making plans in midwifery and around the NHS.

“It is costing extra ultimately to pay company, financial institution and time beyond regulation than it will if products and services hired the fitting numbers of midwives within the first position.”

The £97m bill for transient body of workers can be sufficient to pay for between 2,700 and four,300 midwives relying on their enjoy stage.

In England, the RCM estimates products and services are three,500 midwives brief.

The RCM additionally mentioned it concept the bill was once emerging.

It performed identical analysis in 2015 – and whilst it’s not precisely similar, it did recommend the spending on transient body of workers had higher in England no less than.

The Department of Health in England identified it had introduced in a cap on company spending which was once lowering that component of the bill, whilst general midwife numbers have been emerging.

“We need the NHS to be the most secure position on this planet to have a child,” a spokeswoman added.

Meanwhile, Scottish well being secretary Shona Robison mentioned Scotland was once the least reliant on transient staffing preparations out of the 4 UK international locations without a company spending in any respect.

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