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Assurances given over midwifes

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 03 July 2010

People in Norfolk are being reassured that more money is being spent on midwives and maternity services.

It follows concerns about whether the NHS locally can fund enough midwives to meet the rising birth rate, as reported in the EDP a week ago.

People in Norfolk are being reassured that more money is being spent on midwives and maternity services.

It follows concerns about whether the NHS locally can fund enough midwives to meet the rising birth rate, as reported in the EDP a week ago.

The Norfolk and Norwich Univer-sity Hospital will get an extra £3.6m a year and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn an extra £1.7m a year.

The N&N has taken on 13 more midwives who will be in place by the end of the month, and another 15 by April next year. But this will still leave it slightly short of the number needed to meet the recommended levels of one midwife per 30 pregnant women. By the end of the proposed recruitment drive, there will 182 midwives in the N&N team and 76 at the QEH.

The reassurances were made by Clive Rennie, NHS Norfolk's assistant director of women and children's commissioning, at Norfolk's health scrutiny committee on Thursday.

Mr Rennie said: “This additional funding has been made available to the hospitals and will continue to be avail-able as part of our contract in future years. It is a testament that during this current time of national economic austerity, NHS Norfolk and the maternity service providers are still working very closely together to further improve this very important provi-sion.

“We expect that it will further improve the qual-ity of the service mothers receive and allow them more choice, for example in terms of place of birth.”

Hospitals are paid for maternity services in two ways: through a block contract and per birth.

Money from the block contract is increasing, but most of the extra cash is because of the rising birth rate.

Glynis Moore, head of midwifery at the N&N, said they were recruiting midwives from all over the country and were “making a real effort”.

She said: “We are aiming to have enough midwives recruited to the team to have one midwife for every 30 pregnant women using maternity services both in the community and in labour wards. To achieve this ratio, we need around 35 more midwives to join the team, so the 28 new midwives we have targeted to be in place is a great start.”

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