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‘Focus’ lacking on maternity care

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Hospital managers’ lack of focus on maternity services is compromising patient safety, the King’s Fund think tank has claimed in a report last week.

Although the majority of births in England are safe, the report identified problems with too many complex guidelines, poor communication between obstetricians and midwives, and inadequate numbers of staff with the right skill-mix.

It said hospital boards must prioritise maternity services – paying particular attention to staffing levels, teamworking and safety training.

The government announced plans last week to recruit an extra 4,000 midwives over the next three years. Former midwives will be given access to an incentive scheme worth up to £3,000 to help them return to work after a break in service.

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