"The rise in deaths is no surprise to Dr Donald Gibb, a consultant obstetrician formerly based at King's College London who now runs his own clinic in Harley Street. "There's a lack of consultant input, not through lack of will, but through lack of numbers and time, as well as the ongoing shortage of midwives," he said. "I think we need to look at systematic failures of the organisation of care. There is a lack of availability of specialist expertise. The standard of 40 hours of consultant cover per week for every obstetrics unit, set eight years ago, has still not been met.
"The Government has not acted on repeated warnings, he added. "What really annoys me and other consultants, many of whom work in the NHS, is that in spite of repeated recommendations to increase the consultant cover in labour wards, nobody seems to have done much about this. A lot of consultants are disillusioned and burnt out.
"It seems as if the Department of Health doesn't listen to what doctors tell them. There's a political imperative to run units as cost-effectively as possible. But when things go wrong, for the small number of women that run into trouble, we're talking about life and death. The stakes could not be higher." "
The BBC chooses to take a rather disingenuous stance on this issue, strangely seeming to bury the fact that maternal mortality is rising so fast and concentrate instead on the role of obesity:
dying in pregnancy or childbirth in the UK, a report shows."
"Substandard care accounted for 40 per cent of maternal deaths in the last
report and I am fairly sure the same will be true here"
"The watchdog found family doctors had measured the body mass index - used to
identify obesity - of 12.5m patients - but this was over 2m less than planned. "
The rising maternal mortality rate needs addressing, and this will involve dealing with staffing levels and the incompetent top down management of the health service by the DoH. Health inequalities need tackling too, and the best way to do this is by cooperating and engaging the medical profession, not by dishonestly bullying and intimidating doctors. The BBC should better represent the real issues and not swallow government propaganda piecemeal. It should be remembered that centralised registers do very little positive for people's health, and that GPs are capable of doing a lot more good work if encouraged so to do. As currently GPs are stifled by brainless top down diktats.