Midwives to march to fight for improved services

The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust has recruited 30 new international midwives

Midwives and maternity workers are calling on the government to provide safer and better funded services. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Suffolk midwives and maternity workers are taking to the streets of Ipswich this weekend to fight for safer and better funded services. 

March for Midwives is a national campaign that will see 60 different vigils taking place on Sunday. 

Those attending the event will gather to call on the government to listen to staff and users, fund emergency retention of staff, support training of midwives and students and reduce demands on staff. 

Midwife Hannah Bridges, who is taking part in the march, said: "Nearly every town in the UK is having a vigil that is really amazing. 

"I think things have been building for a long time and the march for midwives is bringing together a lot of midwives and maternity workers and supporters.

"Everyone that cares about birth, doulas, we even have pregnancy yoga teachers, people who care about maternity services are coming together.

"The levels of staffing sometimes being at an unsafe level, not being supported emotionally and not having breaks to eat and drink.

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"We feel there needs to be more support for midwives, more funding for services." 

The vigil will take place at Cornhill at 2pm on Sunday. 

Vigils are also planned in Bury St Edmunds, Norwich and King's Lynn. 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson has said there are "record numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives working in the NHS".

They said the maternity workforce will be increased with a £95m recruitment drive to support recruitment of 1,200 more midwives.

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