Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 10:34 UK

Pledge to provide extra midwives

maternity services
The report called for improved maternity care and more midwives

The NHS in the East has pledged to increase the number of midwives after a report raised concerns about maternity services in the region.

The East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is set to recruit more than 300 midwives to provide a one-to-one care for pregnant women.

The decision follows a consultation report where staff raised concerns about the present services.

Originally the SHA was looking at recruiting 160 new midwives.

'Traumatic experience'

One member of staff is quoted in the report, which was conducted on behalf of the SHA, as saying: "I am more frequently seeing woman who have had a traumatic experience of labour due to lack of staff and support."

Another staff member told the consultation process: "Maternity care needs to be improved, you don't have continuity of care as you don't usually see the same midwife twice and the advice that they give you is sometimes conflicting."

The report to the SHA - which covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk - says members of the public consulted called for care to be close at hand - many think having to travel further could compromise the health of mother and baby.

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