Responding to new research published today by the Labour Party which shows that nearly half of England’s maternity units responding to the FOI request closed to new mothers at some point in 2016, Dr Anthea Mowat, BMA representative body chair, said:
“These figures are stark and will be concerning to many parents. Childbirth can already be a stressful time, and whether or not the services are open at a chosen hospital shouldn’t be something patients should have to worry about. Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by just shutting down units because hospitals don’t have enough staff and resource.
“The pressure the NHS is under is due to bad political choices by consecutive governments, with years of chronic underfunding leaving many services unable to keep up with patient demand, and unfortunately the government shows no sign of taking the necessary action to ease these funding pressures. It must address the significant funding shortfall and produce a long-term strategy that addresses the fundamental workload and staffing challenges that are currently overwhelming many health services.”
Notes to editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.