NHS Trusts across England could be risking the safety of mothers and babies on maternity wards, an independent study has warned. The study for the Department of Health says maternity support workers (MSWs) are being used to stand in for midwives. But the these extra workers drafted in to help hard-pressed midwives could actually be putting mothers and babies at more risk, the report claimed. But the report found they were doing tasks deemed within the role of midwives and requiring specialist midwifery knowledge and training.
The report said a lack of consistency in the training and role of MSWs had the potential to leave midwives and hospital managers uncertain about their competence and placed patients at risk from a low standard of care. King’s College London, which surveyed trust managers across England, noted there was no statutory requirement for MSWs to undergo training, or any regulation to ensure public protection.
Judy Viitanen believes this report will be very worrying for all mums-to-be! As PRimage understand the situation, maternity support staff are supposed to free up midwives’ time by helping with paperwork and non-clinical duties. And Judy Viitanen has read reports that show Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has always insisted that MSWs would not be used as substitutes for professionally qualified midwives.