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Lack of midwives and funding 'risk safety of pregnant women'

A shortfall in the number of trained midwives and a lack of funding has risked safety of pregnant women, MPs have warned. In a damning report on maternity care, the Public Accounts Committee hit out at the Department of Health and NHS England.

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MPs criticise NHS and Government over maternity care

An influential group of MPs has hit out at the Government and NHS for the lack of funding and expertise on maternity units.

Mother and baby's safety is put at risk by lack of funding and inexperienced midwives, MPs said. Credit: PA

The Public Accounts Committee found there was a national shortage of 2,300 midwives and said many maternity units were "running at a loss".

PAC said it was hard to find anyone accountable for "ensuring something as fundamental" as whether the NHS has enough midwives, in a scathing report in maternity care.

The committee reported rates of infection among new mothers and the baby as well as injury to the newborn "are all higher at the weekend".

It added: "Although there have been substantial improvements in levels of consultant presence on labour wards in recent years, over half of obstetric units were still not meeting the levels recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at September 2012."

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