Delivering babies in midwifery-led units: a change of policy is desperately needed

Partner and clinical negligence specialist Linda Levison believes that many avoidable cases of infant brain injury and death result directly from cost-cutting. She calls for your support for an urgent change to existing NHS policy…  

I read a report in the Sunday Times over the weekend about a baby who collapsed unexpectedly soon after her birth in a midwife-led unit in Shropshire. The unit was some 40 miles from the hospital and, by the time she reached specialist help – despite being airlifted – it was too late. Tragically she died six hours after her birth.

I have several cases where delivery has taken place far from hospital and the baby has unexpectedly collapsed. The time taken to get urgent help for the baby has meant the difference between a normal life and catastrophic brain injury.

I cannot understand how the NHS and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) can support the existing arrangements. I am told that midwife-led units are ‘cheaper to run’, but surely the real costs in heartbreak and damaged lives far outweigh any short term savings?

I would urge the NHS and RCM to change their policy to support only midwifery units that are located within a hospital staffed with consultant obstetricians and paediatricians.

I want to start a campaign to bring about this change of policy, and would ask anyone with an interest to get in touch with me:

llevison@pattinsonbrewer.co.uk

Current Controversies, Linda Levison, Medical Negligence,
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