In the April issue of BJM, we take a look at the little-researched condition of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome during pregnancy, birth and beyond. We also take an in-depth look at the aetiology of postpartum haemorrhage and consider how midwives can inform local commissioners about maternal critical care. A study from Australia looks at the effects of labour pain relief on maternal and neonatal outcomes, while in the professional section, we examine the distribution of consultant midwives in the UK, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
What the editor says
This month saw the announcement of a new pay deal for NHS midwives, the majority of whom could see their pay increase by anything from 11 to 24%. In addition, plans have been made to streamline the pay structure in order to eliminate overlaps between pay bands and make it easier to move up the pay scale. Many of those who will see the biggest increases, however, will be Band 1 staff, with the minimum full-time salary in the NHS being increased from £15,000 to £18,005, in line with the living wage. Although this part of the agreement will not affect midwives directly, it will affect maternity services, which relies on porters, cleaners and caterers to perform essential tasks in times where there is a shortage of midwives. This is not to mention the maternity support workers, who provide crucial support and yet are rewarded with some of the lowest pay in the NHS. With this new deal, the Government has agreed to pay these essential staff members a salary that they can live on. While the pay rise will increase morale after many years of shrinking budgets, the real celebration should be because the Government has finally acknowledged that the NHS is valuable and its staff worth listening to.
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