A professional body representing midwives has launched a five-year plan to ensure they feel valued after survey results earlier this year showed three quarters of the workforce had considered leaving.
The Royal College of Midwives in Scotland (RCM) outlined action to be taken by the Scottish Government, the NHS, as well as the maternity profession, to ensure midwives feel supported and have opportunities to develop in their careers.
A survey undertaken earlier this year showed three-quarters of midwives had considered leaving the profession and about half of respondents said there is rarely enough staff to provide safe care for women.
The RCM says it wants all maternity staff to thrive but this cannot happen without listening to the voices of those working on the front line.
Career development and an improved career structure are central to the recommendations outlined in the report.
Others include improving safety by fostering better workplace cultures and compassionate leadership.
Having enough midwives working in safe and supportive workplaces is “fundamental” to achieving their ambition, the RCM said.
Jaki Lambert, RCM’s Director for Scotland, said: “This plan provides a broad framework to ensure that all midwifery and maternity care in Scotland is safe, sustainable, and future-focused.
“Key to all of this is ensuring newly qualified midwives have a positive and supportive experience when they enter the profession, but we also want all midwives to feel empowered so they can develop their skills at any stage of their career.
“Underpinning all of this is strong midwifery leadership, but we also need a commitment from all those involved in the delivery of maternity services in Scotland to ensure this plan becomes a priority for improvement.
“We also understand how challenged the workforce is currently, but space must be provided for this plan to move forward to future-proof maternity services in Scotland.”