Magazine article Public Finance

More Trusts Say 'No Room in the Maternity Ward'

Magazine article Public Finance

More Trusts Say 'No Room in the Maternity Ward'

Article excerpt

More hospitals in England were forced to turn away women in labour last year because they were full or didn't have enough staff, figures have revealed.

There were 553 cases in 2008, a 38% rise from the 402 in 2007.

Almost half of the 104 trusts responding to a survey by the Conservative Party said they shut their maternity units to new admissions at least once and diverted women to other hospitals.

Many of the trusts admitted to shutting wards at times, but said that the women were accommodated in other units nearby.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: 'These figures are a telling reminder of Labour s terrible record on maternity. Labour seems to be deliberately running down maternity services in some hospitals as a precursor to shutting down maternity units altogether'

Jacque Gerrard, the Royal College of Midwives director for England, said: 'Capacity within maternity units is being stretched to the limit and beyond, resulting in closures. …

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