Cuts in midwifery give birth to jobs crisis as graduates can’t find work

Lynsey Neilson
Lynsey Neilson
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HAWICK MP Michael Moore has vowed to raise the issue of cutbacks in midwifery with the government’s health chief after being contacted by a young Hawick woman struggling to find work.

Twenty-three year old Lynsey Neilson recently qualified but has been forced to claim the dole due to a shortage of jobs, and is so concerned by the severity of the situation facing midwives that she has contacted Mr Moore for help.

“I would say that every single unit is not comfortably staffed, with a daily struggle to give one-to-one care to women. This makes me very sad considering the government have just paid for me to train for the last three years,” Lynsey said.

“I am receiving benefits from taxpayers to apply for jobs that I am over qualified to do.”

Lynsey says of the 18 student midwives she graduated with from Napier University, only a handful have secured jobs, but not one in Scotland. She went on: “I’ve been fortunate to be offered a post in London, where the hospital was delighted to take on a Scottish midwife as I’m told our training is superior. That makes me proud, but sad we cannot seek a job closer to home.”

However Lynsey has nothing but praise for the Borders General Hospital where she received clinical training, explaining: “I feel so privileged to have been there, it’s an amazing unit where I was made to feel part of the team, offering an excellent service giving care and compassion to the women. But outlining the crisis throughout the profession, added: “I did my last stretch of training knowing I would not have any chance of a job locally.”

Mr Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland, has given Lynsey a sympathetic ear and vowed to fight their case both at local and national level. He told the Hawick News: “Ms Neilson has raised very important issues and I take these matters seriously. I am going to be putting her specific concerns directly to my colleague Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, and writing to the Scottish Health Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to press her on the situation in Scotland.”

Mr Moore has also pledged to take the issues up with NHS Borders, and added: “From my own family’s experience I know how valuable midwives are.”