Released on: 02 January 2018

In response to BBC research, which found that tens of thousands of mothers and babies in England were harmed by potential lapses in maternity care in the past two years, Abigail Wood, Head of Campaigns, NCT, said:

“These new figures don’t surprise us, unfortunately, as they echo our research earlier this year which found that half of women (50%) experienced ‘red-flag events’ on labour wards. According to NICE, ‘red flag events’ are signs that there may not be enough midwives available to give women and babies the care they need, for example having to wait more than 30 minutes to get pain relief or over an hour to be given stitches.

“Maternity care is in crisis, staffing levels are dangerously low and midwives are being stretched to the limit. We are calling on the Government and the NHS to end this chronic midwife shortage immediately.”

(In January, 2017, a report from NCT and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI), ‘Support Overdue: Women’s experiences of maternity services’, found dangerously low staffing levels mean that half of women (50%) experience at least one red-flag event during childbirth.)

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