NICE have issued new draft guidance on safe midwifery staffing levels. They recommend that women giving birth should have one-to-one care with a midwife and advise hospital boards to monitor staffing levels and ensure sufficient staff to provide safe care for new mothers and their babies.
Responding to the guidance, our Chair, Anna Bradley said:
“Giving birth is a life-changing experience for so many women, and it’s of paramount importance that they feel safe and cared for on their maternity ward during and after labour.
“The new draft guidance will help hospitals to ensure that there are the right number of midwifery staff on at all times to provide safe care for women and their babies and reassure women in labour that their ward has enough staff to cope with demand.
“We know that staffing on hospital wards affecting patient safety is an issue for local Healthwatch. So, this guidance will be particularly useful for them as it will enable them to challenge wards on behalf of new mothers, where they identify that maternity units are not sufficiently staffed.”