NHS to encourage older midwives to stay on and become ‘mentors’ to younger colleagues rather than retiring early
- Around a third of UK midwives are over 50 with many thinking of leaving
- NHS England is investing £8million in a mentoring scheme to retain midwives
- NHS Trusts have until Friday to apply for the new tranche of funding
Around a third of the country’s midwives are over 50, with many thinking of leaving the job which can be stressful and physically demanding.
Because of this, the NHS has been upping efforts to refresh the ageing workforce on the country’s labour wards, with almost 2,750 new midwives recruited in England in the year to the end of September.
Now NHS England is putting in £8 million into the mentoring scheme, aimed at keeping hold of older staff who might otherwise retire, by assigning them to the ‘non-clinical’ roles.
NHS England is putting in £8 million into the mentoring scheme, aimed at keeping hold of older midwives who might otherwise retire (stock image)
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, England’s Chief Midwifery Officer, said: ‘We have an invaluable resource in our existing experienced workforce, who have between them over the years supported millions of families to care for women ante-natally, assisted with the safe delivery of their babies, and cared for them post-natally.
‘We want to keep this wealth of on-the-job knowledge by creating new positions that give maternity staff the opportunity to stay within the NHS and help support and train the next generation of midwives.’
Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse at Health Education England, added: ‘By sharing knowledge, providing pastoral support and coaching new staff, our expert workforce will help guarantee safe and effective care for women, families and their babies for years to come.’
NHS organisations have until next Friday (March 25) to bid for a slice of the funding.