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Early discharge puts community midwives under strain

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Community midwives are under pressure because forty per cent of women are discharged from hospital before they are ready, according to an RCM report.
'This places a strain on all midwives but community midwives are increasingly being asked to make up for staff shortages in maternity units, even though they may not have the resources to,' said Carmel Lloyd, the RCM's head of education.

The report, Postnatal Care Planning, is part of the RCM's 'Pressure Points' campaign, and focused on care given after birth. Women were not getting the level of postnatal care recommended by NICE, it said, citing staff shortages as the reason. It also showed that 65 per cent of midwives thought that the number of postnatal visits was determined by organisational demands, as opposed to mothers' needs.

This is the fourth report in a series of five to be released during 2014, as the RCM highlights the need for more midwives.
The full report can be found at: www.rcm.org.uk.

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