NHS understaffing may have effect on baby mortality rate, says top doctor

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….

Lynsey Hanley  in The Guardian reports 27th April: At last, a doctor who respects older mothers

David Richmond recognises why women are having babies later – they want to take control of their lives
This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

1 thought on “NHS understaffing may have effect on baby mortality rate, says top doctor

  1. Pingback: Medical Schools: your chances – applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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