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Labour: Maternity discrimination 'cause for alarm'

The growing number of people asking for advice on pregnancy and maternity issues is "cause for alarm", according to the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.

Citizens Advice revealed that there had been a 25 percent increase in people seeking advice such issues in the past year, with many women saying their hours had been cut or that they were forced out of their jobs.

Labour MP and shadow women and equalities minister Kate Green criticised the government for failing "to put measures in places to protect mothers in the workplace."

Citizens Advice said there has been a 25% increase in people seeking advice on pregnancy and maternity issues in the past year. Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

She urged the government to outline its strategy to tackle this issue of discrimination against new and expectant mothers.

The 25 per cent increase in the number of people asking for advice on pregnancy and maternity issues in the past year is cause for alarm.

Under this Tory government it now costs up to £1200 to bring a maternity discrimination claim to an employment tribunal which has seen fewer than one per cent of women experiencing maternity discrimination now bringing forward a claim.

The government must urgently outline its strategy to tackling this issue and reverse the alarming increase in levels of maternity discrimination on its watch.

– Kate Green, shadow minister for women and equalities

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Former midwife: Shortage of midwives 'so obvious'

The shortage of NHS midwives is "so obvious" to anyone working in the NHS, leaving working staff with low morale and "worn out" from the job, a former midwife has told Daybreak.

Nora Pearce said maternity staff "have been promised that there will be more" but extra midwives always failed to appear.

High quality maternity care 'suffering' from lack of staff

Maternity services in the UK are under strain due to a lack of trained and experienced staff need to provide "safe, high quality care", the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have said.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM backed up a report from MPs which blasted the NHS and Government for a 2,300 void in the number of trained midwives.

Maternity services are many thousands of midwives short of the number needed to deliver safe, high quality care.

The birthrate remains exceptionally high and as this and the National Audit Office report states, births are also becoming increasingly complex.

This puts even more demands on midwives and maternity services.

We are seeing areas such as antenatal and postnatal care in particular suffering because trusts often do not have enough midwives to provide consistent and high quality care before and after pregnancy.

– Cathy Warwick
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