Up to 500 new midwives from around the world are set to join maternity teams across the country under a new NHS England initiative.
As part of the NHS’s Maternity Workforce programme and its new Maternity International Recruitment Programme, midwives have been recruited from various countries, including Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Italy, India and the Philippines and will support mums, babies and families at 80 NHS trusts.
NHS England’s Chief Midwifery Officer for the NHS in England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, has welcomed the new recruits and praised her fellow midwives and support workers in maternity services around the country for their tireless work supporting new and expectant families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Dunkley-Bent said: “Our midwives and maternity service support workers play a hugely vital role in caring for millions of women, babies and families each year, and throughout the pandemic they have worked tirelessly to ensure families have access to the personalised care and support they need.
“Almost from the moment the NHS was set up, internationally educated midwives, such as the Windrush generation, have been an important part of the midwifery family, and I am pleased that up to 500 overseas midwives will be joining the profession over the next six months.
“Nationally, the NHS is developing a range of strategies to continually improve the care for women and babies, including developing solutions to grow the number of domestically trained midwives, alongside increased international recruitment, where each new recruit bring a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience, to our services.
“We want the NHS to be the safest place in the world to give birth and these new international midwives will help us to do this, so I would like to express my gratitude and welcome them to the team.”
The new midwives will be joining the NHS’s 22,172 strong midwifery workforce at different stages. Over 30 midwives have arrived since December 2021 with hundreds more expected over the coming months.
Each new midwife will receive a comprehensive clinical induction and pastoral support. They will then move onto delivering care and support for women and babies in their trust.
The programme builds on NHS England and NHS Improvement current international nursing recruitment programme, which recruited 21,000 nurses between September 2019 and March 2021.