Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Guarantee for Mums-to-Be

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Guarantee for Mums-to-Be

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Brophy

Pregnant women are to be given a "minimum guarantee" about the level of service they can expect from the NHS, the Government announced today.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt was unveiling Labour's vision for the future of maternity services in England following a brief tour of a London hospital.

The Government has come in for criticism over the possible "watering-down" of a pledge to offer women continuous care during childbirth.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) welcomed today's "ambitious" plans, but said more midwives were needed. Today's commitment is that expectant mothers will be guaranteed a "full range of birthing choices" by 2009, including a home birth, a midwife-led birth or a consultant-led birth.

Women will also be able to choose how to obtain maternity care when they first discover they are pregnant, such as going directly to a midwife or a GP. They will also be able to choose whether to be cared for by midwives or by a maternity team comprising both doctors and midwives. …

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