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Midwives receiving less training in key areas of safety and equality, new report warns

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Midwives across England are still not receiving enough essential safety training with the pandemic leaving hospitals delivering less training than three years ago.

A new report from the charity Baby Lifeline, based on an investigation of 124 NHS trusts in England, found 9 in 10 units had training affected by the pandemic with staff shortages named as a major factor in preventing workers from taking time out for learning. This was cited by 72%  of units as a problem.

The average spend on maternity training was significantly lower in 2020-21 at £34,290 compared to £59,873 in 2017-18, with NHS trusts delivering less training to staff than they did in 2017-18.

Despite concerns over the poor quality of safety investigations in the NHS, fewer than a third of NHS units trained staff in how to carry out investigations.

Judy Ledger, chief executive and founder of Baby Lifeline, said: “Today’s report highlights how gaps and variation in the delivery of maternity training across the NHS continues to impact on the safety and care women and babies receive. Time and again evidence shows that training investment can save lives, and the pandemic has widened existing, detrimental gaps that years of chronic under-funding and staff shortages have created.

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Source: The Independent, 23 November 2021

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