DATA REVEALS THAT OVER 40% OF MATERNITY WARDS IN ENGLAND REJECTED EXPECTANT MOTHERS AT LEAST ONCE LAST YEAR

  • Data found by the Labour Party reveals that over 40% of maternity wards in England rejected expectant mothers at least once last year, BBC reports.

    The data which was the outcome of a Freedom of Information request reveals the following:

    • 42 trusts out of 96 said maternity wards were shut down temporarily 382 times last year
    • In 2014 and 2015, maternity wards were closed 225 and 375 times respectively
    • There were insufficient beds and not enough staff
    • Some maternity wards were closed for over a day and others overnight

    Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow health secretary, said:

    "These findings show the devastating impact which Tory underfunding is having for mothers and children across the country.

    "The uncertainty for so many women just when they need the NHS most is unthinkable."

    A Department of Health spokesperson also said that there are currently over 2,000 more midwives compared to May 2010 and 6,500 more in training at the moment.

    He said:

    "Temporary closures in NHS maternity units are well-rehearsed safety measures which we expect trusts to use to safely manage peaks in admissions.

    "To use these figures as an indication of safe staffing issues, particularly when a number of them could have been for a matter of hours is misleading because maternity services are unable to plan the exact time and place of birth for all women in their care."

    What do you think?

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