Maternity services in Scotland are “beginning to buckle”, according to a new report by the Royal College of Midwives. The report said more complex births, older mothers and an ageing workforce were adding to the pressures. It also showed that more than a fifth of pregnant women in Scotland were obese.  The Scottish government said it had consistently increased midwife numbers over the past few years. It also said it would work with the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) after a major review of maternity services. The report on the state of maternity services in the UK found that while Scottish services were very good, there were signs they were “beginning to buckle as demand rises”. Despite a recent dip, birth rates remained high in Scotland, with the number of births in 2016 matching 2006 levels and up on the number at the start of the century. The report also found that births were becoming increasingly complex, with a rise in obesity levels for expectant mothers. In Scotland, more than a fifth of pregnant women are now obese, which can lead to complications and require additional care. The RCM said the increasing number of older mothers was also a concern. Births to women in their late 30s were up by more than 2,000 since the year 2000, while births to women aged 40 or older were up by about 1,000.For women aged 45 or older, the number of births jumped from 29 to 143 between 2000 and 2015. The report also found that Scotland’s ageing midwifery workforce remained a pressing issue. Midwives aged 50 or over now make up 41% of the total workforce – the highest proportion in the UK – while at the same time the number of younger midwives is falling. RCM Scotland director Mary Ross-Davie told BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Heads of midwifery in Scotland are telling me that in a normal month, they’re getting double the amount of retirements that they used to get.”

No Comments

Leave a Comment