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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Maternity care must be safer

29th February 2008

An independent report warns that mothers and babies in England could be facing unnecessary risks in some maternity wards.

While most births are safe, the health think tank The King’s Fund says that some staff in the units are overworked, need more training or could be offered better support from their managers.

It also noted there were examples of conflict between doctors and midwives and cases of understaffing.

The organisation calls for improvements and its report follows a Healthcare Commission survey that found that some maternity units were not offering a good service to expectant mothers.

The King’s Fund report, which focussed on the issue of safety during birth at maternity units, also found that death rates were still low despite an increase in the birth rate, more complex deliveries and those involving older mothers or IVF.

But it also accused some NHS trust boards of not making safety a high enough priority in maternity units.

Chief executive Niall Dickson said: “The report should provide some reassurance to prospective mothers and their families, but it also clear there is much still to be done to make maternity care in England as safe as it could and should be.?

The government, which has announced that some of the extra investment of £330m earmarked for maternity services would be spent recruiting 4,000 extra midwives by 2012, said it remained committed to building on its “excellent safety record? in maternity units.

However, the Royal College of Midwives said maternity care had been left behind when it came to resources.


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Sunday 2nd March 2008 @ 14:30

Last year my daughter-in-law had her first baby, a 10lb undiagnosed breech. It wasn't diagnosed until after the midwife had tried to rupture the scrotum thinking it was membranes. In view of the high risk of damage to the baby (let alone the huge size of claims for brain damaged babies) why aren't crude ultrasound scans done when mothers are near term/in labour? After all scans can done to measure the amount of urine in the bladder before catheterisation. Surely this is a much more important indication?

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