Published: 16/05/2002, Volume II2, No. 5805 Page 10

Midwives are leaving the NHS because they are disillusioned with the type of midwifery they are expected to practise, according to a study carried out for the Royal College of Midwives.

Many midwives, particularly recent entrants and those in the early years of their career, are frustrated by the confines within which they have to work and by lack of management support. The study was based on a postal survey of 2,325 midwives who left the profession in 2000. There was a 52 per cent response rate.

Linda Ball, a researcher in the department of nursing and midwifery at Sheffield University and one of the study's authors, said most of the midwives surveyed felt that midwifery managers did not provide effective support.

'Midwives felt that they were not appreciated by their managers and were not valued as individuals. Communication between managers and practitioners was felt to be insufficient and superficial and midwives [thought] that they had not been adequately consulted about the many changes that were imposed on them.'