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Maternity staff cut slammed

PUBLISHED: 12:27 11 May 2007 | UPDATED: 08:53 21 July 2010

MIDWIVES have accused hospital bosses of putting women at risk by cutting posts in the maternity department. Health chiefs will make the cuts at Homerton University Hospital in a bid to save up to £150,000....

MIDWIVES have accused hospital bosses of putting women at risk by cutting posts in the maternity department.

Health chiefs will make the cuts at Homerton University Hospital in a bid to save up to £150,000.

The hospital trust says up to seven midwifery posts out of the 160-strong workforce are to be axed.

It insists safety and patient care remain paramount and maternity services will not be affected - but health unions and midwives have reacted with alarm.

Gill George, of Keep Hackney NHS Public campaign, said: "These cuts are a complete disgrace. This is not just damaging to health workers, it's damaging to local people because the service will inevitably suffer."

One midwife, who did not want to be named, said: "We are all very concerned about how it's going to affect maternity care because we are already stretched and the number of women giving birth is not reducing.

"After women have given birth, midwives cannot find the time to give emotional support and teach them to breastfeed.

"In the community when we go out visiting we have got less time to visit women. We want to be able to supply a high standard of care, but it's only a matter of time before something happens."

Earlier this year, 10 beds were cut from Templar ward, one of two maternity wards at the Homerton.

The trust insisted that the ward was running at 60 per cent capacity and the closures would not affect patient care. The trust added that changes in maternity care had led to women spending less time in hospital.

A spokeswoman said that the maternity department would continue to provide one-to-one care for women in labour.

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