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Greater support for midwives welcomed

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The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is welcoming the resolution of the midwives' collective award and an accord between unions, district health boards and the Health Ministry to support the profession.

Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says midwives have a huge role in maternity services, but numbers have been dwindling because of declining recruitment and retention.

She says the accord is an acknowledgement work needs to be done on understanding the pressures and bringing staffing back to safe levels.

"It's a really intimate time with mums and families around the birthing experience so you don't need to have the pressure of being short staffed, of not knowing where your next support is going to come, if you are delivering in a hospital whether or not the midwives working in DHB settings are going to be able to support you because they have got short staffing issues," Ms Nuku says.

The focus in the accord on Māori recruitment and retention is important, because of the different perspective Māori midwives bring to the profession.


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