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Student midwives struggling with mental health and debt

Angelika Warmuth/DPA/PA Images

Student midwives struggling with mental health and debt

The overwhelming majority of student midwives have struggled with mental health problems since the coronavirus began, a new survey has found.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said 96 per cent had reported mild or moderate mental health issues since March.

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed concerns about debt, with 91 per cent of student midwives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland saying their training bursaries were not enough to live on.

Gill Walton, chief executive of the RCM, said: “Our student midwives should not be facing a triple threat of debt, worry and an unpredictable job market. Unlike other students, the demanding nature of their course mean they have little opportunity to seek part-time work to supplement their income.”

SAAS’s Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary entitles eligible students to £10,000 per year in the first three years of their course, reducing to £7,500 in their final year.

The RCM also warned about the current unpredictability of the job market for final year students, with just 36 per cent of them across the UK receiving a job offer with the NHS by the end of July.

Walton added: “Throughout the pandemic student midwives have made enormous efforts, working in our maternity services while also continuing their studies. At the same time the pandemic has disrupted midwifery education heavily.

“Some UK governments and institutions are doing better than others, but most are selling our student midwives short. They need to step up and ensure we continue to have the best educated, best prepared new midwives in the world.”

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - New five-tier coronavirus strategy unveiled by Scottish Government

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