Too few midwives is dangerous false economy
Following news at the weekend that nearly £1 in every £5 spent on nursery and midwifery services is used to meet the costs of litigation and complaint where the service fails, Health Select Committee Member and campaigner, Andrew George, said that the failure of successive Governments to properly address the shortage of midwives was a false economy and that if more money was spent on employing midwives significantly less would be spent meeting the costs of litigation and complaint.
Mr George has been working with The Royal College of Midwives recently, raising a large numbers of questions with Health Ministers which exposed the existence of a dangerous shortage of midwives in the health service. Indeed today he received a letter from the Chief Executive of The Royal College, Professor Cathy Warwick CBE, congratulating him on his work.
Mr George said: “The cost of cutting corners in midwifery has now been laid bare. Taking a risk by trying to manage with too few midwives is not without sometimes avoidable tragic clinical consequence and, as we can now see, not without a very heavy cost.
“It would be better for the Government to make sure that the NHS had enough midwives to avoid the unfortunate situations which give rise to complaint and litigation. I think we would all feel happier if money was spent on midwives rather than meeting the legal costs when the system fails because there aren’t enough of them.”
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