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Saturday 15th June 2019

More maternity doctors needed

10th August 2011

An article published in the British Medical Journal has said the health service should have more maternity doctors in order to prevent deaths from "substandard care".


Six obstetricians have written that the majority of maternal deaths are due to medical causes which could be treated.

A lack of specialist doctors means that medical staff are failing to spot danger signs, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The RCOG said the NHS should partner obstetrics with oncological, cardiological and respiratory care to create a "continuum" which would lessen the number of mother and baby deaths.

It said doctors are facing increasing pressure because of a higher birth rate and more complex pregnancy difficulties.

Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy and her obstetric colleagues wrote in the BMJ that "failings [in the NHS] need urgent attention".

A Department of Health spokesman said: "There has been a significant reduction in the number of women dying during pregnancy in the UK, but every death is one too many. We are committed to ensuring that every woman gets safe and quality maternity services.

"Over the last decade we have seen a 46.6% increase in the number of doctors in obstetrics and gynaecology and a 64.4% increase in consultants." 

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