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13 October 2015

‘Safety is compromised’ as more maternity units close doors

The midwives union have warned that maternity units across the UK are becoming increasingly unavailable to patients as the NHS is coming under more scrutiny.

Research by The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) found in the past twelve months, over 40% of specialist units have closed down temporarily. The major contributing factor responsible for this statistic was the shortage of midwives available. The RCM say an additional 2,600 full-time midwives are required to “ensure every mother and baby gets the highest quality care.” As a result of the shortfall, mistakes were “almost certainly being made.”

Other reasons for the closures included cuts to the NHS budget which has left staff struggling to cope with an increased birth rate in addition to more complex birthing procedures.

Cathy Warwick, the chief executive of the RCM, said, “This shows a system that is creaking at the seams. When services operate beyond their capacity, safety of patients is compromised.”

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Dr Clare McKenzie, vice-president of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the findings were “extremely worrying.” She added that although the UK was generally a safe place for women to give birth, rising levels of obesity and older first-time mothers had increased complications throughout pregnancies.

If you or your child has suffered from poor obstetric treatment, then contact us for expert birth injury claims advice. Pregnancy and childbirth should be a happy time for any family, but we understand that things can go wrong. Longden, Walker & Renney are trusted medical negligence solicitors that aim to achieve maximum compensation for our clients.

Contact our team via telephone on 0191 5666 5000. Or you can request a callback via our online enquiry form at a time that is convenient for you. Your initial advice session will be free and you will be under no obligation.