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Are Staffing Shortages Changing the Culture of Midwifery?

Edwards, Nadine; Gilbert, Arianna; Mander, Rosemary; McHugh, Nessa; Murphy-Lawless, Jo; Patterson, Jenny


Nadine Edwards

Arianna Gilbert

Rosemary Mander

Jo Murphy-Lawless


The effects of budgetary changes on midwives' practice environment have raised concerns in many settings. A survey of midwives and student midwives in the UK and Republic of Ireland in 2014 produced 280 responses. Staffing shortages were regarded as underpinning many changes, one of which was that of previously optional 'extra' activities, such as unpaid overtime, becoming mandatory. Shortages were aggravated in less acute areas by the transfer of midwives to more acute settings. One of the fears expressed by midwives was that a permanent change in the culture of midwifery would result. These phenomena are the everyday experiences of practising midwives, but they have failed to be addressed in the documents published by regulatory and review bodies.


Edwards, N., Gilbert, A., Mander, R., McHugh, N., Murphy-Lawless, J., & Patterson, J. (2016). Are Staffing Shortages Changing the Culture of Midwifery?. Practising Midwife, 19(3), 12-16

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 16, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Feb 2, 2021
Journal The Practising Midwife
Print ISSN 1461-3123
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 3
Pages 12-16
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Part of the Birth Project Group