Almost half of trusts report maternity unit closures

A total of 42 per cent of NHS Trusts providing maternity services in England had to turn away women in labour last year because they were full, according to the Conservative Party.

Using figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, it found that almost one in 10 trusts reported closing more than 10 times. One trust reported closing 28 times and another 39 times.

Large maternity units closed more often than smaller counterparts. 

Richard Warren, honorary secretary of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: ‘It is imperative to ensure that maternity units are appropriately staffed and resourced to meet the demands that the service requires.

‘Safety and quality of care are paramount and although the UK is a safe place to give birth, growing pressures require long-term investment. Our current calculation is that 400 extra consultants are immediately required across England and Wales.'

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