Midwives today blamed the NHS financial crisis for turning maternity care into a “Cinderella” service.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) expressed “deep concern” at the drastic measures being taken by cash-strapped hospitals at a time when the birthrate was rising in most maternity units.
A survey by the union published today revealed that cuts, job freezes, staff shortages and financial crises meant two-thirds of maternity units were now understaffed, and an equal number were struggling with deficits.
Trusts desperate to balance their books were are also raiding training and development budgets, with some being slashed by 75% or 100%.
Two-thirds of maternity units understaffed