Devon is experiencing a midwife shortage, and sometimes maternity units are forced to shut their doors.
Steve Hudson, general manager of midwifery services at Devon PCT, told the Express and Echo for their report which followed up on data they obtained from the Freedom of Information Act: “Locally, we have traditionally not experienced the shortage of midwives as seen nationally.
“However, recently we are starting to notice some of these difficulties. On occasions, we have had to close our maternity units for short periods of time due to reduced staffing levels caused by a combination of circumstances.
“These included midwives being away from work due to sickness, difficulties in sometimes recruiting midwives to vacant posts as they don’t have the appropriate community skills required and midwives receiving further training and development.
“Should any of these happen, whenever possible, we provide expectant women with alternative arrangements.”