Great Britain

NHS maternity services in crisic as coronavirus leads to chronic shortage of midwives

The Sun


NHS maternity services are in crisis as the coronavirus makes a chronic shortage of midwives even worse.

The number of unfilled positions has ­doubled to one in five as staff self-isolate or are transferred to other duties, leading some clinics to close their doors.

Labour MP Stella Creasy said pregnant women are currently being treated as “second-class citizens”.

Nearly 80 per cent of staff polled by the Royal College of Midwives said that routine face-to-face antenatal and postnatal appointments have been stopped.

A fifth said their local maternity units have closed indefinitely, according to the Sunday Times.

Where appointments still take place women are asked to attend alone to cut the risk of infection and some hospitals are banning partners and families from wards. Ms Creasy said: “The idea that we can simply forget about women’s healthcare needs for the duration of this crisis has to end now.”

Pregnant women are among groups classed as “vulnerable” by the Chief Medical Officer. They are no more likely to get the virus than anyone else, but pregnancy can change the way the body reacts to it.

By mum-to-be Rachel Dale

"With just six weeks until my baby’s due, I’ve been online shopping for basics I had hoped to buy in the High Street — like babygrows and a changing mat.

"Instead of holding a lifelike doll at a breastfeeding seminar I found myself holding a teddy to my chest while streaming live to ten mums on Zoom."

Scots NHS workers urge public to 'stand by us' with heartwarming song performance

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