Safety fears over new maternity service ignored by NHS bosses

Safety fears over new maternity service ignored by NHS bosses

Major reforms to the way maternity care is provided to women in England is being forced through by NHS bosses, with maternity unit staff put under pressure and safety concerns dismissed, according to the team investigating the largest maternity scandal in NHS history.

In a damning critique of NHS England’s approach to its new “continuity of carer” model, the Shrewsbury and Telford inquiry team said the model had been introduced without enough midwives in place meaning the safety of women and babies was at risk.

Under continuity of carer (CoC), expectant mothers are provided with a named community midwife throughout their pregnancy and who attends the birth.

But critics say the rollout has created a two-tier system with women in hospital facing long delays because the wards lack enough staff.

In April, a senior doctor at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital was censored after raising the alarm over the changes, which she said were leaving wards dangerously understaffed.

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