NSW midwives and patients deserve better

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has welcomed new laws passed in Queensland, which will see improved workloads for midwives and better outcomes for women and babies, as part of a new ratios model. The midwife-to-patient ratios of one to six, including babies, is set to begin in Queensland’s public postnatal maternity wards this year. NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary, Michael Whaites, said it showed Queensland was ahead of other states in providing quality postnatal care. “We congratulate the Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) on their long-running fight to have these legislative reforms introduced,” said Mr Whaites. “We have a similar fight on our hands here in NSW. We are campaigning for one midwife to three women in postnatal wards in all public hospitals in the state. “We know there is a critical shortage of midwives and sadly, many are leaving because of the poor pay and excessive workloads. “The NSW government has agreed to introduce 1:3 in postnatal wards at some stage, but needs to commit to funding more midwifery positions as part of the ratios model, rather than simply moving midwives from other areas. “Introducing a ratios model in postnatal wards, will go a long way to attracting, retaining, and growing our midwifery workforce.” NSWNMA President and midwife, O’Bray Smith, said while she welcomed the win in Queensland, it was disappointing news for mothers and their newborns in other states. “Women in Australia don’t have equal access to healthcare. The state you’re born in shouldn’t dictate what access you have to a midwife,” said Ms Smith. “Midwives can make such a significant impact on the start of a baby’s life. We desperately need these ratios in NSW, so mothers and their babies are given the care and attention they require.” A review of the midwifery staffing model, Birthrate Plus, is continuing alongside the Safe Staffing Levels Taskforce, with members of the NSWNMA part of the working group.

Join over 75,000 nurses and midwives in NSW by becoming a valued member today.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation