Private midwifery company operating within the NHS!

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A PRIVATE midwifery company now has a contract with ten NHS trusts, with up to 300 women a year using a private midwife during their pregnancy.

‘Private Midwives’ has signed deals covering 18 hospitals and birth centres.

In 2012 only 50 women used its midwives, but in the last five years that has risen to 500.

The lion’s share of this rise comes from the growth of its NHS contracts, and the increase also includes home births, its midwives took 200 women into NHS hospitals in the 12 months to July. It can cost up to £5,000 to hire a private midwife for ante-natal appointments, private scans and to oversee labour in a hospital ward, and these costs are being met by the NHS.

The Tories are responsible for the forced closure of maternity wards in hospitals up and down the country. In Enfield in London, Chase Farm A&E, children’s department and maternity was shut down and the maternity and children’s department was also closed at Ealing Hospital in West London, to mention just two.

Trish Nolan Melfi, the head of Private Midwives, which has the NHS contract, was previously an NHS midwife for 17 years. Tina Perridge, who was also an NHS midwife, is now the director of Neighbourhood Midwives, which provides the same service in London and the South- East.

Dave Wiltshire, Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance, said: ‘The growth of private midwife companies working in the NHS at a huge cost, is an indictment of the Tory government’s privatisation policies. The fact that they recently got rid of student nurses and midwives bursaries so that students who want to become midwives will now have to pay for it, proves what Professor Hawking has been saying is right – that there is no future for the NHS under the Tories.

‘The Trades Union Congress will be meeting shortly and the question of the Tory drive to privatise the NHS must not just be discussed and debated. A resolution must be carried for all trade unions to stop work to defend the NHS in a general strike to bring down this Tory government and halt the privatisation of the NHS by bringing in a workers government that will carry out socialist policies. This is matter of life and death and the TUC must not look the other way and allow the NHS to be smashed.’