In her weekly column 11 Jan 2024 Siobhan Baillie refers to a BBC Panorama programme under the above title.

She said "it raised several issues around care, trust culture and staffing levels."

The reporter said that he has been following maternity services for 10 years and in that time care has got worse.

10% of Trusts across the U.K. are rated as inadequate and Gloucestershire is one of them.

One of the midwives said "we're all at breaking point" and that "there's no point in complaining about staffing levels" to the leadership team, as M's Baillie likes to refer to them, because we're told "there's nothing we can do about it".

In fact, the programme told us that there is a shortage of 2500 midwives across England.

The programme went on to tell us that when the new maternity unit opened in Gloucester, there was supposed to be a minimum of 8 on a day shift and 6 on a night shift.

Regularly, we were told, the day shift is run on 4 or 5 and the night on 2. We saw midwives campaigning on the streets. None of this was mentioned by the Stroud M.P. even though she has "concerns".

Perhaps she and her Gloucestershire M.P. colleagues are concerned that the programme exposed yet more incompetence from them and those in government rather than actually being concerned about the health and welfare of expectant mums and new born babies.

She tells us that "the government has recognised the need to recruit more midwives".

Wow! They have only been in charge for 14 years but they seem to suggest that it is someone else's fault and now they have arrived on the scene it's going to be sorted.

She says "I understand staff are seeing improvements."

Really! Nobody said that in the Panorama programme.

Did she ask staff members if they are seeing improvements?

If not, why not and if she did, what are those improvements she is seeing?

She tells us she is going to meet with the minister responsible for maternity services to discuss the closed post natal beds at Stroud.

What for? How much is there to discuss about a closed bed?

If the minister isn't aware of the understaffing in midwifery perhaps she should be looking for another job or maybe a seat in the House of Lords.

Howard Price