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London’s Maternity Services Not Fit For Purpose

January 29, 2008

London's Maternity Services Not Fit For Purpose

An independent review by the Healthcare Commission has found that maternity units in England are failing to provide adequate care for expectant and new mothers. Using data from NHS Trusts and a survey of new mothers, problems of inadequate screening checks, insufficient numbers of staff and poor quality of care around birth were revealed.

In London in particular, antenatal and postnatal care was found to be consistently poorer than elsewhere in the country. Two of the ten hospitals with the worst maternity care in England serve Mark’s constituents – Barts and the London NHS Trust and the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. To support this rating, Mark has heard from a number of constituents whose experience in the local hospitals reveals a worrying level of incompetence and carelessness in our NHS.

To raise awareness of Londoners’ poor deal on maternity services, Mark contributed to a debate in Westminster Hall today to talk about the pressures being placed on inner city hospitals. Speaking to the Health Minister, Ann Keen, Mark said “There are problems because women are passed from pillar to post, from trainee midwife to locum midwife during the pregnancy, and there are problems after the birth…In many areas, such as central London, the health service is not fit for purpose”

To read Mark’s entire contribution to the debate, click here