One mother"s first-hand experience of the midwife shortage threatening UK hospitals

I gave birth in the car park: One mother's first hand experience of the midwife shortage threatening UK hospitals

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UPDATED:

12:32 GMT, 17 August 2012

The UK is facing a midwife crisis as the birthrate continues to soar.

Under staffing at maternity wards around the country means that many new mothers are not getting the pre or post natal treatment they are entitled to, with hospitals in the South East area suffering the biggest levels of under staffing with a shortfall of 33%.

New mother Anna Martin was forced to give birth to her baby daughter Sophia in a car park after being turned away from Leeds Teaching Hospital due to staff shortages.

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Anya Martin appearing on Daybreak this morning

Anya Martin appearing on Daybreak this morning

Speaking to Daybreak this morning Anya, from Leeds, said: 'Eventually we found another hospital, but it was late and a lot of the entrances were closed.

'My husband dialed 999 who told him
not to leave me so he put them on speakerphone. Then I realised that it
was going to happen then with nobody around to help.

'I was really scared and I realised that the baby could die but the voice on the phone was telling us exactly what to do.

'Afterwards I went through a real mixture of emotions: I was angry, I was disappointed …. I wanted to kill somebody!

'But she was healthy and I was healthy, she is a brilliant baby so I can't be angry any more.

Louise Silverton from the Royal College of Midwives talks to Kate Garraway and Dan Lobb

Louise Silverton from the Royal College of Midwives talks to Kate Garraway and Dan Lobb

Also on the show was Louise Silverton from the Royal College of Midwives.

Louise said: 'We have had a chronic shortage of midwives in the UK for many years as the birth rate has continued to increase.

'More midwives have been trained and if the birth rate had stayed the same as in 2008 we would have enough, but women keep having more and more babies.

'It is important to get newly qualified midwives employed , they are out there looking for jobs but local hospitals need to be told to employ them by the government.

'A lot of hospitals are trying to save money on midwives to spend on technology, which means women are not getting the antenatal support, post natal care and one to one care in the labour room from a midwife to which they are entitled.

'Priorities need to change. We believe that if the NHS employed the right number of midwives there would be a lot of money saved in negligence cases.'

VIDEO: Watch new mother Anya talk about the car park birth. See the full interview on the Daybreak site

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