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Over 50 percent of women and their newborns put at risk in the UK under a failed centralized healthcare system


(NaturalNews) Slowly but surely, and unbeknownst to most people outside the country, Britain's vaunted "free" national healthcare system is failing, and as it does, millions of residents are being put at risk of bad outcomes, including some of England's newest citizens.

As reported by Britain's Daily Mail Online, failing maternity units all around the country are putting tens of thousands of new mothers and their newborn babies at risk, according to a recently released inspection report from an independent watchdog organization.

In the report, more than half the country's maternity units were rated either "inadequate" or "require improvement" in order to meet safety standards. A dramatic shortage of midwives has meant that babies are being delivered by medical students, while women are being refused pain-relieving medications, the report noted.

In one unit, the independent health inspectors found blood on the walls, while at another, C-sections were being done in a makeshift operating room that actually doubled as a storage room.

The report from the Care Quality Commission, the non-governmental regulator of all health and social care services in England, has, so far, inspected maternity services in 150 hospital trusts, and of those, 65 were graded as "require improvement" while 13 more were rated "inadequate" for safety.

Some pregnant moms diverted to wards 30 miles away

The Daily Mail noted of the findings:

This means they are failing to take basic measures to prevent women and babies suffering avoidable harm. These inadequate trusts are together responsible for the care of 70,000 new mothers a year.

Earlier in March, a separate study found that British moms are sent home from the hospital after spending just a day and a half on average in National Health Service maternity wards, which researchers said was less time than nearly anywhere in the developed world.

In addition, December figures showed that half of maternity wards had been forced to close doors at least once to women who presented in labor over the previous 12 months, because they were too busy – and full – to handle additional pregnancies.

The latest CQC report also noted several maternity units where inspectors discovered midwives who were failing to perform hourly exams of the heart rate of fetuses, and were not carrying them out properly. The offending hospitals included the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, near Worcester, where staff members were "misinterpreting" vital signs and other measurements.

Meanwhile, at Addenbrooke's in Cambridge, a newborn found to be at high risk of infection had been left overnight, for 10 hours, without any observation at all. At Wexham Park Hospital near Slough, Berkshire, inspectors found a "bullying culture," where midwives failed to disclose serious incidents over fears they would trigger a "witch hunt."

And the Royal Berkshire Hospital maternity unit in Reading was found to close its doors at least once per month because it was too busy, which left women in labor having to be diverted to other facilities 30 miles away.

'This is not good enough'

"Maternity services are struggling to cope with rising levels of immigration and higher numbers of older and obese women, who have more complex labours. Many departments are severely short-staffed and do not have enough experienced midwives or obstetricians," the Mail Online reported.

Also, in March the NHS announced some reforms to maternity services that include providing pregnant women with funds of up to £3,000 (about $4,300) to have their babies at home, to alleviate overcrowding. However, critics of that plan worry that mothers are being pressured into choosing that option only because it's cheaper.

"This is not good enough," said Professor Sir Mike Richards, CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, of the findings. "There is no doubt that improvements are needed in order to narrow the variation that exists."

"It is disappointing that some women are not receiving the high-quality care they deserve," added Dr. David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, as quoted by the Mail Online.

"Long-term investment is needed to ensure health care professionals can deliver a high-quality service to all of their patients."

Translation: More money.





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