- The midwifery vacancy rate in Scotland is only 3%
- Staffing levels have been constant for five years
- Scotland’s stillbirth rate is much lower than the UK and close to Scandinavian levels
They never rest, especially if they can insert a wee nagging doubt about NHS Scotland and by implication the Scottish Government’s competence to run it, as the elderly, the sick and pregnant mums wake to the typical anxiety of humans in the early hours. For a reminder of why this matters, see:
The Power of Early Morning Nightmares and Expectant Mothers: BBC Scotland callously undermines the morale of midwives, their patients, expectant mothers and their relatives, with highly selective and un-contextualised information
At 06:26 this morning, this was inserted into a general piece about overweight babies:
‘The number of vacancies for midwives has increased significantly over the last five years.’
Here are some facts:
First, the Midwifery vacancy rate is 3%. This is not by any means a significant problem for NHS Scotland allowing as it does for the healthy transfer of staff and the arrival of ‘new blood’ within the system. If the level is currently only 3%, how can a change from less than that to only 3% be significant? It cannot. The graph published by NHS Scotland does, to the untutored mind, suggest an increase but knowing that it is from around 1% to only 3% we can see it is not significant on its own.
Second overall staffing has been fairly consistent over the last five years with a fall of only 0.1% in qualified staff. See:
Finally, more important than staffing levels on their own, as a measure of success in midwifery is the rate of stillbirths. In the Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland – the rate of stillbirths and deaths of babies within 28 days is 4.3 per 1 000 live births. This is the lowest in the world. In the USA, it’s about 10. The Scottish figure has now fallen to just 4.72 with the rate for the UK at 5.61.
Note the above is from the BBC website. Have you ever heard Reporting Scotland mention it?