HELP ME INVESTIGATE: where and why are babies being born in hospital without a midwife present?
According to this story from Sheffield (http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Nine-babies-born-on-Sheffield.6283167.jp) nine babies have been born in hospital in the past 5 years without a midwife present. Two mums had to give birth with no assistance and the other times the fathers had to deliver the babies.
The likely reasons I’ve found for this to happen so far are 1. there are several mothers giving birth all at the same time and there are just not enough midwives on shift to deal with the situation 2. mothers who have home births require two midwives to be present which therefore means fewer staff at the hospital or 3. there are systemic failures in the governance of the hospital trust.
It would appear from the follow articles that the answer is most likely to be number 3 – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/coroner-brands-maternity-shortages-as-scandalous-1838752.html
I’ve spoke to the Royal College of Midwives and they identified the Milton Keynes General Hospital as the worst example and the one receiving the most political and media attention-http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/More-midwives-en-route-for.6139972.jp.
I made a Freedom of Information request to the Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on 19th May – http://ow.ly/1T1NP. In order then to obtain a comparison I also made a Freedom of Information request to the Heart of England NHS Trust on the same day.
I’m now looking to talk to some midwives about their current working conditions and want to find out what improvements need to be made to ensure all maternity and neo-natal care is as good as it should be. If you have any information, know any midwives or new mothers who’ve had problems with their maternity ward then please do get in touch – here’s the HMI page http://ow.ly/1T2mS and information can remain anonymous if needed
All information will be used as part of my investigation for helpmeinvestigate.com – a project that draws on the public as well as journalists to pursue investigative reporting.