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Mum’s not the word on birthing choices

Health secretary Alan Johnson has just announced £112m per year for three years for the best possible care and to guarantee a full range of birthing choices.

We have a dedicated group of community midwives who manage to deliver four times the national average of home births (12%) but are under increasing pressure to send patients to hospital because of the staffing costs of home delivery.

A local midwife-led birthing unit, as part of the Saxmundham Health one-stop shop, could save up to £200,000 per annum based on the NHS tariff and international data supporting doing fewer Caesarian sections in birthing unit patients.

The chance to empower dedicated NHS midwives, offer choice and improve outcomes while still saving money was rejected by the PCT.

The laudable Government edict of ‘offer choice and best possible care' is being interpreted as ‘offer less and don't mind where'.

Dr John Havard, Saxmundham, Suffolk

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