Dennis Campbell in The Guardian 27th April reports: NHS understaffing may have effect on baby mortality rate, says top doctor – ‘Legitimate to ask’ whether number of staff is contributing to death of 300 babies a year, says Dr David Richmond
Once again, we know the numerator, but not the denominator. What has been the historic rate, and ,now that mothers are older, and there are more first babies born to older mothers, is their mortality rate proportionate to what has been happening in maternal demographics? Despite this, understaffing for adults compared to private care is the rule.. There is very little private care for children which would allow us to compare staffing rates, but as the Health Services degenerate further, I expect private care for children and babies to become more available, especially in the cities… Rationing by undercapacity..
Britain’s leading obstetrician says it is legitimate to ask whether understaffing of maternity care and labour wards is contributing to Britain’s stubbornly high rates of baby death and brain damage. Dr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has voiced alarm that nearly 300 babies a year are dying during or soon after birth with a further 1,200 ending up with brain damage or other serious health problems. The infant deaths, Richmond said, were due to a range of issues. But with maternity units struggling to cope with a baby boom over the past 10 years and a shortage of midwives and doctors, Richmond said it was “a legitimate question to ask” whether pressure on resources was contributing to the tragic toll….