UK health trusts suspend home birth services as midwives shortage deepens
‘Crisis’ in maternity care leaves expectant mothers facing difficult births in hospital or without support at home
A severe shortage of midwives has led to home birth services being closed or reduced by a number of hospital trusts across the UK, with pregnant women frequently left in limbo as to where they will be able to give birth.
The Observer has found more than 20 trusts that have had disrupted home birth services in the past three months. Eight confirmed their services remain suspended due to staff shortages. They include East Kent Hospitals, Swansea Bay University Health Board and NHS Dumfries and Galloway – all of which report that the situation is under constant review.