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HELP ME INVESTIGATE: where and why are babies being born in hospital without a midwife present?

with 2 comments

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.coma project that draws on the public as well as journalists to pursue investigative reporting.


Written by Robert Dale

June 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

2 Responses

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  1. You should talk to BCU School of Nursing and Midwifery.The Head of Department of Midwifery is Ann King Scott – I’m sure they will have something for you.

    I was in the NHS for a number of years doing project work so got ot see alot of NHS issues up close. Recruiting numbers to fill clinical posts is terribly difficult for a number of reasons, which is why the NHS has had to turn to recruitment from abroad from time to time.Funding for training is funnelled down various channels and complex for Schools of Midwifery to manage (again I suggest you talk to someone in our own School of M) but retention is also proving a problem once courses have started and this include midwifery.

    My personal opinion is there aren’t enough midwives getting to the front line in the first place

    As Milton Keynes is within the county of Bucks you should probaly talk to NHS Buckinghamshire to get their take on things with Milton Keynes General Hospital

    You should also talk to the National Patient Safety Organisation about the issues

    You might want ot talk to someone involved with one of these new Health Innovation and Education Clusters (HIECs)iehow they see their role in adressing such issues

    Here’s another twist for you too – May 2010’Single mothers have a poor experience of NHS maternity care, study finds’

    Hope some of this helps


    Annette Copper

    June 3, 2010 at 9:10 am

  2. […] HELP ME INVESTIGATE: where and why are babies being born in hospital without a midwife present? « &… Help @robdaleworks investigate: where and why are babies being born in hospital without a midwife present? http://bit.ly/dgTxH8 (tags: via:packrati.us) […]

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