Maternity care flaws may put patients at risk, says report - Guardian
"NHS trusts could be risking the safety of mothers and babies by using maternity support workers to do the work of trained midwives, a report says today.
The independent study for the Department of Health found a number of trusts across England were converting midwife positions into posts for lesser-qualified maternity support workers (MSWs).
The health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has always insisted MSWs would not be used as substitutes for professionally qualified midwives. 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."
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