As part of its new manifesto ‘Strengthening Midwifery Leadership: a Manifesto for better maternity care’, The Royal College of Midwives is calling for a Director of Midwifery to be appointed to every hospital trust and health board in the UK.

The RCM describes Directors of Midwifery as ‘leaders and advocates for safe, high quality maternity care and are responsible for operational delivery of maternity services locally.’

The new manifesto also calls for higher numbers of consultant and specialist midwives.

The Royal College of Midwives has identified a need for improved leadership and a higher profile for this vital role.

This call for improved leadership of maternity services in the NHS comes against a backdrop of continued high levels of clinical negligence claims focussed on maternity care.

According to the NHS Resolution Annual Report 2018/19, obstetric claims against the NHS accounted for 50% of the total value of claims over that period.

Possibly contributing to this scenario is the fact that there is currently an estimated shortage of 2,500 midwives across the NHS in England.

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