March with Midwives: Maternity workers set to protest for better pay and working conditions at Leeds Town Hall

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A year after the 2021 March With Midwives, where 16,000 midwives and families took to the streets to demand improvements to midwives working conditions, March With Midwives will return to Leeds this weekend.

Midwives from across West Yorkshire will gather on Sunday 20 November from 2pm to 3pm at the Leeds Town Hall steps to highlight the financial, physical and emotional difficulties midwives are facing.

This comes just four months after the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s Expert Panel declared there is “no credible government strategy to tackle the situation” in maternity care.

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An NHS report issued in 2021 showed the number of NHS midwives had fallen by almost 300 in just two months, the fastest fall on record, while birth rates are climbing in every region except London. About 10,000 more births happened in 2021 than 2020, meaning fewer midwives have to contend with more births.

March With Midwives 2021 demonstrationMarch With Midwives 2021 demonstration
March With Midwives 2021 demonstration

Speaking about the march, lead organiser Rebecca Trueman said: "We’re protesting against this government’s complete apathy at the broken state of maternity services. Every single public enquiry, investigation, statistic and poll shows that our maternity system is in deep trouble.

"Midwives are burned out and also underpaid. They are leaving the profession in droves which is causing unsafe staffing levels and substandard - sometimes dangerous - care to parents and babies. If we can’t get things right for birth, what does that say about our country?”

March With Midwives is campaigning for unions representing midwives to enact and support radical industrial action to ensure that midwives are protected.

For more information about Sunday’s march go to the March With Midwives AllEvents page.