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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Trust resumes home birth service
A hospital which sacked a male midwife for attending a home birth has now said it is reinstating the service.

Paul Beland, 46, was dismissed after he defied hospital instructions by helping a woman give birth at home.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had suspended the home service because of staff shortages.

However, the trust has been working with an Australian agency to recruit midwives and intends to begin the home service again at the end of October.

General manager for woman and child services, Mandy Renton, said the trust was committed to home births as long as there were staff to cover them.

Safe and effective

"Since the temporary suspension due to staff shortages of the home birth service in June this year we have been actively recruiting staff and continue to interview potential new midwives," she said.

"To run the home birth service safely and effectively the trust requires the equivalent of 20 full-time community midwives to be available each week.

"We had originally hoped to resume the service at the end of this month (September), but in view of the planned start dates of new staff and continuing illness of existing staff we cannot confidently do this until after half-term."

The sacking of Mr Beland, of Bourne, Lincolnshire, came after he helped deliver Louise Cutteridge's son at her Peterborough home in June.

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