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Campaign for more Midwives to save lives

April 19, 2007

Join the UK-wide campaign launched by midwivesonline.com to save the lives of mothers and babies who are at risk due to a national shortage of midwives. This campaign is on behalf of the thousands of ‘over-stretched’ midwives and the growing number of recently qualified student midwives who are without jobs. All you need to do is sign a petition demanding that the government lift the current freeze on NHS midwife vacancies; and increase the number of midwives being trained by 10 000 over the next two years.

This issue is hitting the NHS hard, with negligence payments to women who have been injured during child-birth soaring to £1 billion. Figures released this month by Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, showed that two thirds of the one hundred highest pay-outs over the last five years were made to women who were injured as a result of substandard maternity care.

A current freeze on NHS midwife vacancies is adding to the problem and forcing student midwives into unemployment when their skills are desperately needed. The NHS has admitted that two-thirds of maternity units are understaffed, or have non-skilled health workers taking on tasks that should be done by a trained midwife.

In 2006, Dame Karlene Davis, the General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives warned the government that mothers and babies were being put at risk by ballooning NHS deficits. She pointed out that a third of hospitals were cutting their budgets for maternity care despite there being a national shortage of 10 000 midwives.

Midwivesonline.com are taking their campaign to the heart of parliament and lobbying MP’s to give their backing to the petition. Adding his support, Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said ‘We cannot allow such gross negligence on the part of our national healthcare system, which is failing parents during one of their most precious moments. I support the call for more midwives by Midwivesonline.com in order to save lives and reduce trauma during childbirth.’

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