FOLLOWING calls for the government to address the 'crisis' in maternity services, Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has announced she has secured a parliamentary debate to discuss the matter.

In November, midwives and members of the community gathered in Stroud to take part in a national protest calling for the government to do something about the pressures on maternity services.

It was part of the national March with Midwives demonstration.

Protesters highlighted that maternity services were at “breaking point” and the “crisis” in maternity care should be addressed as a “national emergency”.

There is currently a shortage of 2,500 midwives across the UK, with the Royal College of Midwives warning of an 'exodus' after it found that 60 per cent of midwifery staff were thinking of leaving the profession due to understaffing and the fear that they can’t provide safe care to mothers and babies.

The March with Midwives campaign called on politicians to listen to all staff and the people who use maternity services, to fund the emergency retention of staff, to support student training and reduce demands on staff.

Ms Baillie spoke to campaigners and vowed to raise the matter in the House of Commons.

Now she has been told by the Speaker’s office she can have an adjournment debate on January 17.

She said: “I am personally deeply indebted to the midwives and health visitors from our town’s maternity hospital and the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital for all their help and support as well as holding them in high regard for how they support so many constituents.

“A debate means a government minister will have to consider the concerns midwives have made and the strength of feeling they have about staff shortages and safety. This has been underpinned by a petition signed by over 100,000 people.

“It was also something midwives locally told me they wanted to happen. I will be asking them for their views and concerns to incorporate into my speech for the debate.

“It is important we air real life experiences and crucially, what midwives think should be done to make the situation better. I hope other MPs will join the debate.”