Friday, 9 August 2013

Concern about maternity unit closures and midwives shortages

Mothers from Save St Helier
In June The Telegraph newspaper reported that:
"Maternity wards in England are shutting their doors a total of more than 1,000 times a year forcing expecting mothers to seek care elsewhere or give birth at home, according to new figures ... Maternity wards are facing growing pressure because of a shortage of midwives and the increasing birth rate, which rose to 688,000 live births in England in 2011 — the highest total since 1971."
 And earlier this month The Evening Standard reported that:
"The number of London hospitals with maternity units could be almost halved to concentrate specialist care on fewer larger sites."
The group "Save St Helier" is concerned that the proposed closure of the maternity unit at St Helier hospital, Sutton, will jeopardise the safety of expectant mothers and their unborn children, by forcing them to travel all the way to the maternity unit at St George's hospital, Tooting. They argue that St George's is already under increasing strain, and that many such journeys would have to be undertaken during rush-hours on already traffic-jammed roads.

I would encourage SPUC supporters to read more about these issues and make their concerns known to their local MP and GPs. Among SPUC's official aims are:
  • To reassert the principle laid down in the United Nations 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child that the child "needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth."
  • To defend, assist and promote the life and welfare of mothers during pregnancy and of their children from the time of conception up to, during and after birth.
You can contact your MP via the Contact your MP page on SPUC's website.

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