midwifery students on vintage bikes converged on College Green opposite Parliament yesterday afternoon, to highlight the Royal College of Midwives’ e-petition for 5,000 more Midwives.
More than 25 first-year midwifery students, in historic uniforms and on vintage and tandem bikes, cycled a six-mile route through central London to promote the e-petition.
The RCM is campaigning for 5,000 more midwives and has an e-petition lodged with the government, which has 58,500 signatures and must achieve 100,000 by August 22nd.
RCM President Lesley Page said: ‘The government knows there is a dire shortage of midwives, and is committed to training more midwives, but what is needed are more midwifery jobs for students once they qualify.
‘They are our future. It is pointless training more midwives if they cannot get employment.
‘The RCM has been saying for a long time that without real and sustained investment in midwives, change is hard to achieve.
‘Our view is that in order to deliver high-quality maternity care for mothers and babies proposed by the government, we need 5,000 more midwives.’
Event organiser and first-year midwifery student Rebecca Ashley, 27, said: ‘As well as being keen cyclists, we are passionate about our future jobs as midwives, and the future of maternity services in England.
‘We want more midwives recruited so we can have a future and continue the important role of being present at a pivotal time in women’s lives when we qualify.
‘We know that midwives work unfailingly hard to ensure positive and healthy childbearing experiences for mothers, babies and families, our society without midwives should remain unthinkable. It is so important that we are able to find work when we qualify.’
The students cycled along the South Bank, past St Thomas’ Hospital and through Hyde Park. Stopping at designated areas, they handed out e-petition postcards and information about the e-petition and encouraged people to sign it.