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Thursday 24th May 2018

Maternity care gaps 'worrying'

27th November 2007

A poll carried out by the Healthcare Commission has shown that many women feel anxious when they are left alone during and after labour.


The watchdog stated that the information could suggest that midwives were not carrying out official guidelines that say women must only be left by themselves for short periods.

The poll will make up a section of a national review of services which will be released in 2008.

The survey of 26,000 women discovered that one in four women "had felt worried when left alone by medics".

It also showed that there were differences in the standard and type of care provided across the 148 NHS trusts across England.

One in 10 women who were treated at certain trusts said they were left by themselves and it made them feel anxious, in comparison to a third at other trusts.

43% of the respondents said they were not asked where they wanted to give birth. Over one third of women stated that they were not given the choice of antenatal classes.

More than 50% of women gave birth in a horizontal position, which midwives are "meant to discourage".

Louise Silverton, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "It is a serious concern that too many women are left alone during labour, leaving them feeling worried and vulnerable."

She said the best way to make changes was to increase the number of midwives available.

"Without this the government's targets will just be broken promises, and we have seen this too often in the past."

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