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News Report Page 12 of 24
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News reports located on this page = 3.

NHS in England gains just 1 extra Midwife for every 30 trained; new report

THE number of NHS Midwives in England rose by just 67 in the last year, despite Universities turning out over 2,000 newly trained staff, according to the latest State of Maternity Services Report,  that was published on 12 September 2018, by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

There were the equivalent of 21,601 full time Midwives working in the NHS in England in May, according to the most recent figures from NHS Digital, up just 67 on a year earlier. The rise contrasts sharply with the 2,132 Midwives who graduated from English Universities in 2016/17.

Commenting, RCM chief executive Gill Walton said:- "It is of deep concern that we're only seeing an increase of about 1 NHS Midwife for every 30 or so newly qualified Midwives graduating from our Universities. It's not that new Midwives aren't getting jobs, they are. The problem is that so many existing Midwives are leaving the service that the 2 things almost cancel each other out. The Government has committed to training an extra 3,000 Midwives. That's great news and we welcome it wholeheartedly, but if the trend identified in this new report continues, those 3,000 additional training places may only produce an extra 100 Midwives on the NHS frontline. We must see still more trained as well as action on retaining the staff that we already have."

The report, which estimates that the national Midwife shortage is unchanged on the previous year, at 3,500 full time staff, also highlights the challenge of keeping EU trained Midwives, as Brexit looms.

In the year to March, just 33 Midwives who trained elsewhere in the EU registered in the UK to work as Midwives. This number had been 272 only 2 years previously, before the 2016 referendum. Over the same period the number of European Midwives leaving the register jumped from 160 to 234.

Gill Walton commented:- "We have around 1,700 EU trained Midwives registered to work here in the UK, and they will be caring for tens of thousands of women every year. Their numbers are already falling quite dramatically however, and my fear is that if Brexit goes ahead, especially without a deal, then their numbers could quite simply collapse. More needs to be done right now to guarantee their right to stay and work in the UK post-Brexit, even if there is no deal, then more will leave and that will make our shortage even worse."

Amongst the reports other findings, the profile of the women using maternity services continues to change. Last year, 55% of births were to women in their 30s or older, the highest since records began in 1938.

Gill Walton also said that:- "Older women will typically require more care during their pregnancy and postnatally. This will not be true in every case, of course, but overall it does add to the mix of complexity with which maternity services must cope. The very clear ageing of the profile of women accessing maternity care does therefore increase the number of Midwives needed by the NHS."

The report identifies a fall in the number of births, down 2.5% last year, as an opportunity, with the intense pressure on Midwives and other maternity staff easing as a result.

"The number of births dipped last year," Gill Walton observed. "With the number of births off its peak and this new commitment from the Government to more training places for Midwives, we have an opportunity to tackle this deep, longstanding problem. But we need action to ensure those training places materialise, that there are enough clinical training placements for students, that they graduate and get jobs. Even more than that we need to ensure the Midwives we do have stay in the service, and that means things like ensuring that NHS staff get good pay rises in the future. It would be great if in future years I needed to complain less about the shortage and was able to speak more about the great things that a well staffed, well resourced maternity service was achieving."

The Full RCM Annual 'State of Maternity Services Report 2018; England' can be read online at:- RCM.Org.UK when the report is published.

Liverpool College expansion celebrated

HUNDREDS of extra pupils will get the chance to attend 1 of Liverpool's most popular Schools; after it benefited from the Mayor's ₤180 million School investment programme. A new ₤3.7 million Key Stage 1 'pre-prep' block at Liverpool College will be used by primary School classes from reception up to year 2, funded by the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme (LSIP). It will grow the School's population by 196 over the next few years, helping tackle the issue of it being heavily oversubscribed.

The historic School, which takes pupils aged from 4; 19, converted from a private School to a non-fee paying Academy in 2013. Since then it has seen a massive growth in demand for places, with more than 400 applications for 84 reception class places. The new building replaces an overcrowded Victorian villa with small classrooms impractical for modern teaching methods, and enjoys views across the green fields on its 28 acre campus.

Head Hans van Mourik Broekman said:- "We are really pleased to have been given the opportunity to achieve the dream of growing the School as an educational opportunity for all children in Liverpool.  The opening will give us chance to thank the Mayor formally for his support and vision in making this dream a reality for our current and future pupils."

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "Our investment in Schools right across the City has transformed education for many thousands of Liverpool pupils.Liverpool College is a brilliant School and as a result is hugely oversubscribed, which is why I am pleased we have been able to invest in the site to give more pupils the opportunity to attend. The funding we have made available to Liverpool College and other Schools in the City is making a massive difference to pupils and staff, enabling them to teach in better surroundings using the latest equipment. Along the way we have also mainly used local firms in the construction process, securing and creating a substantial number of jobs as well as giving apprentices a helping hand on to the employment ladder."

The Liverpool Schools Investment Programme (LSIP) has seen 22 Schools rebuilt and refurbished over the last 5 years using Council and Government cash. More than 14,000 students and pupils have so far directly benefited from the transformation. It also created more than 2,000 construction jobs, while 200 young people were given the chance to develop their skills and improve their career prospects through apprenticeships. Around 62% of the investment was spent with Liverpool firms, rising to 74% across the whole of Merseyside.

Funding of ₤45 million was generated from the sale of former School sites for housing development; which helped to recoup some of the costs. As part of this, 10 new housing sites with 650 new homes were created, which have created revenue from Council Tax. The Council has further benefited from an annual ₤650,000 'windfall' from the lease of buildings, which it will receive for the next 25 years to reinvest in essential services.

For more information about the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, visit:- Liverpool.Gov.UK/LSIP.

Young women in the North West being let down in workplace

A major new report from Young Women's Trust has found that, despite the #MeToo movement and reforms including:- gender pay gap reporting, young women in the North West of England continue to lose out in the workplace; and mental health inequalities have got worse.

A Populus Data Solutions survey of young people for the charity shows that, nearly a year on from #MeToo, 26% of young people in the region do not know how to report sexual harassment at work and 19% would be reluctant to do so for fear of losing their job. Despite the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, 1 in 5 young women across England and Wales say they are illegally paid less than their male colleagues for the same work.

The charity, which supports young women on low or no pay, is releasing its latest annual survey findings in a report:- 'It's (still) a rich man's world,' 100 years on from the  1st women getting the vote but finds that women still face inequality in all aspects of work.

Across the country, young women remain more likely to be on low pay, job insecurity has increased, and debt levels have risen. More than a quarter say their financial situation has got worse in the past year. As a result, young women's mental health concerns are skyrocketing, with 40% saying they are worried about their mental health.

Summary of key findings for England and Wales:-

Sexual harassment is still not being dealt with...

15% of young women (some 800,000 young women), have been sexually harassed at work and not reported it; double the number of women who have experienced it and reported it (8%).

32% of young women say they don't know how to report sexual harassment.

18%  of young women say that they are too scared to report sexual harassment at work and 24% of young women would be reluctant to report sexual harassment for fear of losing their job, or fear of being given fewer hours (17%).

Employers are ignoring gender pay gaps...

19% of young women (or more than a million) say they are illegally paid less than their male colleagues for the same or similar work, rising to 25% for those aged 25-30.

15% of young women are disappointed by their employer's efforts to tackle the gender pay gap but 53% say they don't have the confidence to challenge their boss on the issue.

Gender discrimination is rife...

31% of young women have experienced sex discrimination when working or looking for work.

43% of young mums have experienced maternity discrimination.

Women bear the brunt of low pay, with debt levels increasing

40% of young women say it is a "real struggle" to make their cash last to the end of the month, compared to 29% of young men. This rises to 58% of women aged 25 to 30.

28% of young women and 21% of young men say that their financial situation has got worse in the last 12 months.

39% of young women have been offered zero-hours contract, compared to 32% of young men. In 2017 the figure was 33% of young women.

27% of young women say their level of debt has got worse in the past year and 23% say they are in debt:- "all of the time."

Just 5% of young women are currently debt free and 37% don't think they will be debt-free by the age of 40.

Mental health concerns are skyrocketing...

52% of young women say that their work has had a negative impact on their mental health (42% men).

33% of young women (or 1.7 million) say that their mental health has affected their ability to seek work, compared to 25% of young men.

44% of young women are worried about their mental health, compared to 34% of young men.

22% of young people report they are depressed and 37% of young women are more anxious this year than last year (29% of young men).

53% of young women said they feel worried for the future (compared with 42% of young men).

Equality is a long way off but there is still hope of achieving it...

51% of young women think that it is unlikely that gender discrimination in the UK will be a thing of the past by the time they are 40.

Nearly double the number of young women than baby boomer women identify as a feminist (50% compared to 29%).

More young women say they are confident asking for a pay rise than this time last year (20% compared to 13% in 2017).

Just 18% of young women think that women's equality has improved this year, that number is double the amount who said it had got better last year (9%).

Young Women's Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said:- "Sadly, even a hundred years after the  1st women gaining the power to vote, it's still a rich man's world. Young women continue to lack workplace power and spending power. Our annual survey shows that young women's treatment at work, pay and wellbeing are trailing far behind those of young men. If 2018 is to be a turning point for women's equality and not just a footnote in history, then it's clear that we need deeds, not just words. We need to be impatient for change: a lot has been achieved in the last 100 years but there's still a long way to go. A concerted effort is needed from Government and employers to provide young people with security and hope for the future, redress gender inequality at work and help manage the growing mental health crisis among young people."

Young Women's Trust is supporting young women to find work or training and take the next step in their career, while campaigning to make workplaces fairer.

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