Midwives working without protective equipment, says RCM

Midwives and maternity support workers are working without protective equipment, the RCM has said.

The union has called on the government to ensure its members receive appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure they remain safe and well so they can continue to care for people.

It has also called on the government to regularly test midwives and other healthworkers during the coronavirus crisis.

RCM CEO Gill Walton said: “There are midwives, maternity support workers and thousands of other NHS health care professionals working right now without adequate supplies of personal protective equipment. Our members in different parts of the UK have been contacting us with their concerns.

“Midwives across the country are caring for pregnant women with suspected COVID-19 symptoms without adequate resources to protect themselves. There are community midwives attending home births and postnatal visits without enough hand sanitising gel and other basics such as masks. We know these are unprecedented circumstances, but the government has a duty to keep our vital healthcare workers safe and well.

“If the NHS is to cope with the daily rising challenges of this pandemic, we need to ensure that healthcare workers, including our members, are kept well for as long as possible – and if they are unwell, that they are taken out of the workforce to prevent further infection. Our members want clarity, which is why we are pushing all the relevant NHS and government bodies to get the right information out in a timely way.”

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