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Monday, April 02, 2007

British women may no longer be entitled to one-to-one care from a midwife during labour.

Women to give birth without care of a midwife - Telegraph


"Women may no longer be entitled to one-to-one care from a midwife during labour, after a shift in Government policy set to be announced this week.

The Royal College of Midwives says any plans to go back on earlier pledges by allowing hospitals to use cheaper and less-skilled maternity support workers will increase the risks for women and babies.

Several recent reports have suggested that standards of maternity provision are falling as NHS trusts battle huge deficits, and more women are encouraged to have their babies at home. One report by the Conservatives suggested that around one in six of England's 282 maternity units could be shut down.

In its 2005 manifesto Labour promised that by 2009 all women would be cared for by a midwife throughout the pregnancy, and receive continuous care during the delivery. But "Maternity Matters", the strategy to be announced by Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, this week, is ex-pected to suggest that some women could give birth without the care of a midwife."