Baby boom will put ‘enormous strain’ on the NHS, warn experts

Highest number of babies since 1971 will be born in England this year, causing high demand on the NHS

20,000 more children are expected to be born this year than last – but this could place massive strain on NHS maternity services, according to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

‘The baby boom is restarting with renewed vigour,’ says Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM.

An estimated 700,000 babies will be born in England this year – the highest number since 1971.

‘Today’s midwives simply have never seen anything like it. The demand this is placing on the NHS is enormous,’ continues Professor Warwick.

‘NHS maternity services, especially in England, are on a knife-edge.

‘We have carried shortages for years, but with the number of births going up and up and up. I really believe we are at the limit of what maternity services can safely deliver.’

A spokesman for the Office of National Statistics says this boom may be partially attributed to higher fertility among migrant women.

David Cameron promised another 3,000 midwives across the NHS in the run up to his election win. To date, only an extra 900 have been employed.

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