BBC. Kendal nurse cleared of misconduct over girl's suicide. 2014. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Centre for Workforce Intelligence. A strategic review of the future healthcare workforce: Informing the nursing workforce. 2013. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Department of Health. Health Visitor Implementation Plan 2011–15—A Call to Action. 2011. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Fong J A critical analysis of the school nursing vision and call to action. British Journal of School Nursing. 2014; 9:(6)287-95

Health Education England. NHS Qualified Nurse Supply and Demand Survey–Findings. 2014a. (accessed 20 February 2015)

Health Education England. Investing In People—Workforce Plan for England. 2014b. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Health and Social Care Information Centre. NHS Workforce Statistics – August 2014, Provisional statistics: Nurses Area and Level tables. 2014. (accessed 24 February 2015)

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts. Financial sustainability of NHS bodies—Thirty-fifth Report of Session 2014-2015. 2015. (accessed 20 February 2015)

London: House of Commons; 2014

Institute of Health Visiting. Institute calls for government commitment to maximum ratio of 1:250 health visitors to families. 2014. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Royal College of Midwives. State of Maternity Services report 2013. 2014. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Royal College of Midwives. RCM members vote in favour of accepting NHS pay offer in England. 2015. (accessed 25 February 2015)

Royal College of Nursing. RCN Labour Market Review—A decisive decade. The UK nursing labour market review 2011. 2011. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Warwick C Achieving a positive balance. British Journal of Midwifery. 2013; 21:(11)

Midwives strike over NHS pay. 2014. (accessed 24 January 2015)

YoungMinds. Devastating cuts eading to children's mental health crisis. 2014. (accessed 24 January 2015)

Priority issues from 0–19

02 March 2015
Volume 23 · Issue 3


Midwifery, health visiting and school nursing services play an essential role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of children from conception to adulthood, yet there are many issues affecting all, which urgently need to be addressed.

The UK nursing and midwifery workforce is ageing, and this is already having a considerable impact on services. In 2001, the largest midwifery age group in England was 35 to 39 years and in Northern Ireland 40 to 44 years; in 2012, this rose to 45 to 49 years and 50 to 54 years, respectively (Royal College of Midwives (RCM), 2014). According to the Royal College of Nursing's 2011 Labour Market Review, one in three UK-based nurses are aged 50 or older. This ageing population has been predicted as a major contributor to a reduction in the nursing workforce (Centre for Workforce Intelligence, 2011; RCN, 2011; 2013). One of the proposed solutions includes delaying retirement. This might be a short-term strategy, but if it is not backed up by appropriate training and recruitment drives, the benefits will be short-lived and the issue will only become worse down the line, when a larger wave of nurses and midwives retire.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month