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Doctor's warning over maternity treatment

26th May 2009

A doctor has said that babies at Wales' biggest maternity hospitals could be put in danger because there are not enough staff available.

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The doctor, who wants to remain anonymous, told the BBC that the most worrying aspect was in "high-risk pregnancies" at bigger hospital units.

"It doesn't happen very often, because the still birth rate is extremely low, but there are a number of babies that are ill and some babies that are lost every year in south Wales that different management would have resulted in a better outcome," the doctor said.

He said a particular problem was when a pregnancy had gone past its due date by 12 to 14 days.

The doctor warned that sometimes due to a lack of available staff, inducted deliveries were postponed and babies had died as a result.

"But it's just very, very hard to watch and see a baby that has been lost that could have been saved - and sometimes saved by something as simple as delivering that baby a little bit earlier," he added.

The doctor called for a review of maternity care across Wales.

However, Rosemary Kennedy, chief nursing officer for Wales said maternity services were safe and added: "Now, in terms of safety we have Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, which is our independent arms length body, which will look at all concerns which are raised."

 

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