Maternity services cut8th January 2007
Women and their newborns are being put at risk due to maternity cuts, say midwives.
A poll by the Royal College of Midwives has revealed that two thirds of the heads of midwifery who took part felt their units were understaffed and reported that 66% of their trusts faced deficits from 2005-2006. The poll also indicated that trusts are cutting training budgets and increasingly rely upon maternity support workers to fill the gaps left by qualified midwives.
However, the government has responded by saying that giving birth was now ‚Äúsafer than ever before‚Ä? and that midwife staffing levels were set to increase. A government spokesperson said that the number of midwives had increased over the past decade and ministers have pledged that within 2 years women will be able to choose where they give birth and have a named midwife in charge their care.
Despite maternal and infant death rates being the lowest on record, the Royal College of Midwives say its members are struggling to provide good care. Louise Silverton, the college's deputy general secretary, said, "There is a significant risk of overall care being compromised as we have evidence of severe restrictions on the provision of postnatal care to women.‚Ä?
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Friday 12th January 2007 @ 16:15
We are struggling on ground level to cover our maternity service safely. We, as midwives have had to go on-call for night cover due to a reduction on staffing levels on nights, support workers now attend deliveries and are often faced with situations they are not prepared for eg an unexpectedly poorly baby who requires immediate resuscitation. This is putting the lives of mothers and babies at risk - birth may be safer but it is also unpredictable and in those situations there is no substitute for trained midwives. I think it is really sad to see a unique service disappear and totally detrimental to the future of maternity services.
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Title: Maternity services cut
Article Id: 1627
Date Added: 8th Jan 2007