Nearly fifteen years ago the University of Sheffield with The Royal College of Midwives (The RCM) published ‘Why Do Midwives Leave?’ by Linda Ball, Penny Curtis and Mavis Kirkham. Finding out the reasons why midwives leave, and what will encourage them to return, is important because there has been a shortage of midwives in the UK for over a decade. The latest figures show that there is now a shortage of nearly 3,500 midwives. While student numbers have been gradually increasing it is not enough to close the shortage of midwives - existing midwives need to be retained and midwives who have left need to be encouraged back to midwifery.
The RCM’s survey had 2,719 responses in total. 30.8% of responses were from midwives who have left midwifery in the last two years and 69.2% of responses were from midwives who are intending to leave midwifery in the next two years (69.2%).