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Maternity services must be ringfenced during the coronavirus crisis

MATERNITY services must be ring-fenced during the coronavirus crisis to ensure women get safe care, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) demanded today.

The union said that while other areas of the NHS can postpone or cancel procedures, women will continue to go through pregnancy and childbirth.

A shortage of midwives has worsened since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak and is likely to increase as it continues, the union also warned.

RCM chief executive Gill Walton said: “Women are still pregnant, still having babies, and they need the care and support of properly resourced maternity services.

“We have to ensure that midwives and maternity support workers are ring-fenced from any redeployment to ensure that women continue to receive safe care.”

The RCM said almost one in 10 midwifery posts stood vacant before the outbreak. A survey it conducted this month found that this has doubled.

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