(PRWeb UK) January 6, 2011
HCL plc, one of the world’s leading health and social care recruitment companies, said today that increasing the global recruitment of midwives is the only solution to the severe shortage of these professionals in the UK.
The company was responding to a warning from Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, that the UK’s existing workforce of midwives is not large enough to cope with the surge in birthrates, and in increasingly complex pregnancies and births. Ms Warwick said that the UK’s birthrate has increased by 19% in the past decade, while midwife numbers have increased by just 12%, leaving a shortfall of around 3,500.
HCL plc, which sources and supplies specialist nurses and midwives to public and private sector healthcare providers across the world, said that a shortage of this magnitude could pose serious risks to mothers and babies. The company added that although the government has pledged to maintain the number of midwives in training, this would not address the chronic shortage that exists now.
HCL plc put forward two solutions to address the challenge:
1. Increase the flexibility of the existing midwife workforce by making greater use of locum and temporary midwives. This enables workforce managers to staff up and down to meet peaks in demand – especially relevant to a maternity ward. It can also be more cost effective as it adds flexibility to the workforce cost base.
2. Increase the recruitment of midwives globally. Midwives, like all other healthcare professionals, have uniquely transferable skills which mean that they can work in almost any country in the world. HCL plc, which has recently acquired leading Australian recruitment company, HCA, says there is an increasing appetite amongst midwives across the globe to experience life in new countries, in particular amongst Australian midwives who would like to work in the UK.
Kate Bleasdale, Executive Vice Chairman of HCL plc, said:
“It’s unacceptable that mothers should be put at risk during pregnancy and birth because of a lack of skilled midwives to advise and help them. Creating and maintaining a more flexible workforce, and planning ahead to anticipate peaks in demand, will help to ensure that more midwives are available precisely when they are needed.
“The market for midwives is increasingly a global one and the UK should embrace and welcome that. Looking beyond our own borders to source pools of talent across the globe will facilitate the sharing of best practice in midwifery and result in a better service for mothers and families.”
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About HCL plc
HCL plc is a leading global recruitment and staffing agency for all healthcare and social care staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and qualified social workers. Headquartered in London, the company has operations across the world, and large offices in Australia, North America and India. HCL plc was listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in 2005 (AIM: HLO).
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