- Staff facing ‘extreme pressure’ amid Covid infection, warns Royal College
- Women could be denied care if maternity workers are rehired like the first wave
- Fresh warning from NHS leaders urges government to implement ‘Plan B’ now
Britain’s top gynecologist has warned that pregnant women could be denied their care if COVID cases continue to rise.
Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, warned that maternity staff are facing “extreme pressure”.
He argued that the pandemic was ‘too far away’ and added that if infections continue, maternity wards may soon be unable to ‘provide care’.
Morris’ warning comes after more than 1,000 were hospitalized for Covid for the first time in six weeks.
But yesterday’s cases were lower than a week ago, raising hopes that the worst of the current outbreak has passed.
If cases continue to rise, maternity wards could once again be overwhelmed by the pressure of Covid, denying women and girls the care they need. Britain’s top gynecologist warns
Edward Morris, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, warned that maternity workers are facing “extreme pressure”.
The government has insisted that this is not the right time to resort to a ‘Plan B’ winter strategy, which is ‘totally in line’ with the expected figures.
In ‘Plan B’ measures such as indoor face masks, COVID passports and WFH will be reintroduced.
Health bosses have already called on the government to implement ‘Plan B’ measures, with fears that the NHS is headed for a winter crisis, with both covid and flu in vogue and canceled for catch-up The work done has a record high back-log.
Now Dr Morris has become the latest high profile voice to raise the alarm about the impact of rising Covid cases.
They told Guardian The college was concerned that the maternity staff might have to face this winter.
“The COVID pandemic is not over yet and if the situation persists, we are concerned about the enormous pressure our maternity workers will face this winter,” she added.
‘We also know of many women and girls who suffer from gynecological conditions who are currently on extensive waiting lists with no end in sight.
‘With the number of Covid cases rising once again, the NHS may soon be in a position where it is unable to provide the care it needs to cope with the huge backlog it has already created.’
According to a report published in July, more than 1.5 million NHS operations in England were canceled or delayed in 2020, with more than 2 million expected by the end of this year.
Dr Morris said maternity staff, who were redeployed to help other parts of the NHS during the first Covid wave, should be allowed to continue their specialist work this winter.
“We know that during the first wave of the pandemic, maternity staff were redeployed to different areas of the hospital,” he said.
‘We would urge NHS trusts and boards to avoid this at all costs.’
It comes as a record 325,000 people got their booster jab in a single day, while more than 800,000 got it for the third time in three days as centers across the country re-queued
The virus left me in a coma for a month
Claire Bromley, a mother who turns 33, spent nearly a month in hospital with Covid and says the risks “far exceed any doubts” about the vaccine.
A few days after testing positive he was admitted to the Hospital in Kent with difficulty in breathing and placed on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.
Medics feared she might need an emergency C-section at just 26 weeks. But her condition improved and her pregnancy is proceeding normally.
She said: ‘I can honestly say that the risk of not having a vaccine is greater than any doubt about having it.’
Claire Bromley, 33, from Kent, after contracting the coronavirus while pregnant in hospital
In addition to Dr Morris, other NHS chiefs have urged the government to implement a ‘Plan B’ ban now to avoid endangering NHS care later.
Dr Chand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association said the refusal to implement Plan B measures was ‘deliberate negligence’.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health trusts, said ‘it is better to act now than to regret later’.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is currently urging pregnant women to get the covid and flu vaccines to help protect themselves and their babies this winter.
The flu can be very serious for a small number of pregnant women and their babies, sometimes causing stillbirth, maternal death, and miscarriage.
Colleges have warned that it is possible to be infected with the flu and Covid at the same time and that pregnant women can become seriously ill.
Despite the claims of antivaxxers, the data shows that the vaccines do not cause any harm to mothers or babies afterwards.
The petition came after it emerged earlier this month that unvaccinated women wear makeup Nearly a fifth of the sickest Covid patients in intensive care.
NHS England said 17 per cent of Covid patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were uninsured pregnant mothers.
The data also shows that pregnant women account for 32 per cent of all women aged 16 to 49 in the ICU when a patient’s lungs are so damaged by covid that ventilators do not work.
NHS England said the figure had risen from six per cent in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
Even without full winter Covid pressures, maternity units in England were rocked by claims that staff-on-staff bullying was endangering the health of children.
A report by the health-watchdog Care Quality Commission (CQC) published last month found that four out of ten obstetric units failed to meet basic safety standards.
CQC warns that…