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The maternity landscape has been laid bare with a recent study conducted by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), revealing that more than half of NHS midwives and maternity support staff plan to leave the health service in the next twelve months.
Maternity services have come under much scrutiny over the last couple of years, with more than 40% of maternity services currently rated as inadequate or requires improvement – the lowest two ratings from the Care Quality Commission. There has also been a number of damning scandals where poor and negligent care has led to baby deaths and injuries – impacting hundreds of families and leading to millions being paid in birth injury compensation.
In the survey conducted by the RCM, 84% of those wanting to leave cited concerns over staffing levels as the primary reason. Two thirds also stated that they were unhappy with the quality of care that they could provide.
Interestingly, the highest levels of dissatisfaction were amongst midwives who had worked five years or less in the NHS. This suggests there may be a disparity amongst the expectations of those who have recently joined the service and the reality that they are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. This is also alarming because if these employees were to leave maternity services, it could leave an older workforce and create a long-term resource problem.
In another worrying report, figures by NHS Digital showed that the number of midwives working in England in May was down by 300 in just a two-month time period. This was one of the fastest falls in the past 20 years according to the RCM.
Birth injury solicitors, Blackwater Law see first-hand the impact of a lack of staffing on the care that can be provided to families. This includes delays in referring patients or in providing emergency care which can result in injuries occurring and increasing potential for a birth injury claim to arise.
If you have received poor maternity care, pre or post birth you may have questions surrounding the quality of care. This can include questions relating to a GP, midwife, doctor, sonographer or anaesthetist. Blackwater Law specialise in birth injury compensation claims and provide free initial advice on the treatment you have received. All cases are taken on a no win, no fee basis.
Poor care doesn’t have to be accepted.