Press Release: November 07, 2017
UK maternity units are said to be turning to expensive temporary staffing to fill midwife gaps, leaving behind a bill of almost £100 million. educogym Canary Wharf discuss the issues.
The Royal College of Midwives data showed that in 2016 the bill for maternity services hit nearly £100 million, as NHS maternity services are having to pay out almost twice as much on hourly fees to agency staff, overtime and in-house agency staff. The final bill of £97 million spent on temporary staff is enough to pay 3,500 permanent staff wages. The information comes from 159 local maternity services. “It’s shocking to see how much is being spent on agency staff through the NHS, it is very clear that maternity services are overrun with patients and more staff are needed. The money to pay permanent staff is obviously there, so it is worrying that considering the money is there for wages, there are still not enough midwives” questioned Orlstyne Wilson, personal trainer at educogym Canary Wharf.
The average agency midwife earns just over £40 per hour, compared to a normal midwife with 10 years’ experience earning just £18 per hour in England and Wales. “Agency staff are being used to fill permanent shortages, meaning a role that normally costs £20 per hour or under is being filled for more than double the cost, it is a huge waste of public money and overall it is costing a huge amount more in the long run” explained Godfrey Nurse, personal training expert at Educogym Canary Wharf.
It is estimated that England are 3,500 midwives short and the bill for shortages is rising, so why aren’t more people becoming midwives? “The cost for midwifery courses at university has risen to £9,250, not only that, but midwifery places are extremely limited, up to 1000 applicants may apply for a place but only 30 may actually get it, meaning that even those that want to become midwifes have to continually try year after year to get a university place, and so taking much longer to finally get their degree. It is also a very tough course, it is half spent in the classroom and half physically in the role, meaning long hours, long days, and nights, once graduated a midwife can expect to earn around £22,000,, which seems not too bad, however when you look at the hours, energy and effort put in it isn’t much” explained Orlstyne Wilson one of Educogym Canary Wharf’s personal trainers.
The aim is for the NHS to be one of the safest places in the world to have a baby, but it seems there is a lot of work to do for this to happen, although England is classed as a very safe place to give birth, the staff are overrun, over worked and underpaid in comparison to their agency comparison.
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