'Government must tackle maternity ward crisis as busy staff make mistakes'

'Government must tackle maternity ward crisis as busy staff lead to mistakes'

New data has been released about maternity wards

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Government must start tackling the problem of maternity ward closures, as over-burdened staff can make mistakes under pressure.

That's the view of the Royal College of Midwives, whose chief executive Cathy Warwick spoke to John Nicolson on talkRADIO this afternoon.

Warwick was reponding to a survey that revealed that more than 40% of maternity wards in England close their doors to expectant mothers at least once last year. This was mainly due to staff shortages and not enough beds.

"It really is showing that our maternity services are really under a bit of a crisis if this is happening more often than we expect," said Warwick.

"I want to hear our Government saying this is indicative of a problem and we need to understand it better and we need to take action to try and stop it happening so frequently."

She explained that most hospitals have good plans in place, even when closed to new patients, to ensure all women are treated safely, but "when things are very busy in maternity services and when staff don’t have time to do things thoroughly, then things can go wrong."

Warwick believes "midwives need to feel they’re able to do the job that they were trained to do" and "we have to look after our midwives better and that includes paying them appropriately."

LIsten to the full interview above