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Penny Curtis, Linda Ball, Mavis Kirkham
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 14, Iss. 5, 05 May 2006, pp 260 - 264

Concern for the organization of working hours was widespread among respondents to the Why do Midwives Leave study (Ball, Curtis and Kirkham, 2002). This was especially important to midwives who gave ‘family commitments’ as their main reason for leaving. Managers in the Talking to Manager study (Curtis, Ball and Kirkham 2003) reported the availability of a variety of flexible, ‘family friendly’ working patterns. However, they felt constrained to restrict their availability in order ‘to balance the needs of the service’ and to enable an adequate skill mix to be maintained. Managers were also concerned that family friendly working was exacerbating discontent within midwifery and fuelling divisions between midwives, for family friendly working hours may leave ‘unfriendly’ gaps in the staff roster that others have to fill.

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