It was widely reported this week that a pregnant woman was sent almost 30 miles to a hospital after maternity wards in Leicester closed their doors to new admissions.
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Infirmary and the General Hospital in the city, said the incident was ‘a one-off’. The woman ultimately attended a maternity unit in Kettering, Northants.
Jane Porter, head of nursing and midwifery at the trust, said: ‘We have only closed both of our maternity units once – ever. On this occasion there was only one woman affected.
‘However that is one time too many, and we are working with our partners in health across Leicestershire to make sure that women can have their baby wherever they choose,’ she added.
The incident follows continuing warnings from the RCM and other organisations that the NHS is chronically short of midwives.
Data obtained by the Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act found that many health trusts across England have been forced to close as they were at capacity or did not have enough staff.
Related article on nursingtimes.net: Midwives raise quality and staffing level concerns
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