June 2 – Introducing competition to the NHS will do nothing to improve maternity services, midwife leaders claimed yesterday. Private companies are unlikely to want to offer the same range of maternity services as the NHS, according to the Royal College of Midwives. They have no “appetite or capacity” for this task and are likely to be deterred by the threat of litigation costs involved in taking on high risk cases, the RCM says.
There is no evidence in any case that competition would improve quality of maternity services, according to the RCM’s submission to the government’s “pause” on the NHS reforms. The RCM warns that senior and experienced midwives are under threat from the efficiency drive in the NHS – especially as many are classified as management. RCM general secretary Cathy Warwick said: “Our concern is that the Government is moving too far, too fast. It hasn’t actually identified the problems that the reforms are meant to solve – this is putting the cart before the horse.”