The growing crisis in maternity care is costing lives, with women in London particularly at risk.
A unpublished report, unearthed by the BBC’s Panorama programme this week, reveals that 17 recent maternal deaths in the capital could have been avoided if the women had received better care.
This shocking evidence echoes repeated warnings from the Royal College of Midwives, which says that in some parts of London one in five midwives’ posts are vacant.
Nevertheless, midwives have told Socialist Worker that newly qualified colleagues are struggling to get permanent posts, and some are leaving the profession in despair.
Across Britain, maternity units were forced to close temporarily to new admissions a staggering 1,055 times last year, nearly always because of understaffing or lack of beds.
For background information on the crisis in midwifery see System on the verge of a breakdown