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Home Industry News Night-time maternity care ‘puts mothers at risk’

Night-time maternity care ‘puts mothers at risk’

5th January 2011

Women who give birth at night may be at increased risk because they are often cared for by inexperienced NHS staff, a leading doctor has warned.

Dr Tony Falconer, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told the Guardian that junior staff working night shifts in maternity units may lack the experience and skills needed to ensure the safe delivery of babies.

In his first interview since becoming the college's president, Dr Falconer said: "Obstetric care isn't the same at 3am as it is at 3pm, and it should be. This is a matter of huge concern."

The leading maternity doctor explained that junior obstetricians may lack the technical skills needed to use forceps or vacuums during the birth process.

As a result, some women undergo avoidable caesarean sections and some babies are harmed during their birth.

This comes after a recent study by researchers at Cambridge University, the University of Glasgow and NHS National Services Scotland found that babies born at night or at weekends are more likely to die due to lack of oxygen than those born during normal working hours.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800324264-ADNFCR

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