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Cash grants to lure midwives back

The Government has announced that midwives who have left the NHS are to be offered £3,000 "golden handshakes" to return to the job.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson wants to recruit thousands more midwives over the next three years.

People taking up the offer will be handed free training and help with childcare and travel costs, on top of a grant of up to £1,500.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) believes the move is a good idea, but the Conservatives claim the Government is failing to act quickly enough to head off potential shortages.

Mr Johnson said the plans will see an extra 4,000 midwives recruited to the NHS by 2012.

He added: "Many of these extra midwives will be new to the profession, but there are also former midwives whose expertise could be brought back to the NHS given the right support.

"This is why we will make up to £3,000 worth of support available to each returning midwife, providing free training and financial support while they study."

The costs will come out of £330m of funding announced in January for maternity services.

Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the RCM, said: "The RCM will wish to see a sustained programme of support for midwives from the Government.

"We will continue to work with the Government and the NHS to achieve this."

Copyright © PA Business 2008


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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"What about an incentive to keep existing midwives in the profession? We have worked under immense pressure for many years and many of us are reaching burn out. Many are off sick with stress and the pressure for remaining midwives is nearly too much to bear. I for one am looking to leave as soon as I can as I have had enough, and I want to go before my own health begins to suffer. Many are taking early retirement. In my Trust alone many midwives are coming up for retirement and are choosing to go early at 55. Despite midwives leaving, the Trust is not recruiting any more midwives to replace them because they are trying to balance the books. Some midwives have taken the Return to Practice course in the past and then never been given jobs as the Trust has no money. This will be a white elephant! The government needs to take steps to retain the existing workforce first" - Name and address supplied