Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Dozens of protesters take to the streets of Bury St Edmunds over midwifery 'crisis'



More news, no ads

LEARN MORE


Dozens of protesters took to the streets in Bury St Edmunds over the weekend demanding action from the Government over a midwifery ‘crisis’.

The vigil on Sunday, under the ‘March for Midwives’ moniker, saw parents, children, lay-people, doulas, midwives and other health care professionals march from the Abbey Gate on Angel Hill.

It was one of many taking place across the UK demanding four things from the Government: for them to listen to all staff and service users and their advocates; to fund emergency retention of staff; to enable all qualified midwives who are willing to work and support students to enter training and finish their courses, and to reduce demands on staff.

Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Bury St Edmunds over the weekend over a midwifery 'crisis'. Pictures: Mecha Morton.
Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Bury St Edmunds over the weekend over a midwifery 'crisis'. Pictures: Mecha Morton.

The Department of Health and Social Care was approached for comment.

The march was organised by a number of different people, and led by Helen Fortes, who is a doula (a woman, typically without formal training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labour).

Helen said the march was about showing ‘solidarity’ with midwives across the UK struggling with under-staffing and long hours.

The march saw parents, children, lay-people, doulas, midwives and other health care professionals all turn out to show their support.
The march saw parents, children, lay-people, doulas, midwives and other health care professionals all turn out to show their support.

“We were absolutely wanting to show that we are listening to the fact that they are having a difficult time and we are listening to birthing people who are saying they are having a difficult time,” she said.

The national March for Midwives group has described the current midwifery situation as a ‘crisis’, saying services have become ‘critically unsafe’ for staff and users and the Royal College of Midwives is warning of an ‘exodus’ of staff from the profession.

Helen said she thought some people saw birthing as a ‘niche’ issue but a crisis in midwifery could have a negative ripple effect.

“If they (parents) have trauma and have symptoms of PTSD and then are affected by post-natal depression, those are serious things that could lead to other problems for the mum and the husband and that could significantly impact on society,” she said.

The march started at the Abbey Gate on Angel Hill.
The march started at the Abbey Gate on Angel Hill.

The march on Sunday saw the protesters head up Abbeygate Street to Cornhill, and then back to Angel Hill via Hatter Street.

A petition has been set up nationally calling for Government investment into maternity services, which can be found here.