London the worst to have a baby

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London, Jan 25 (UNI) And you thought it is only the developing countries where pre and post-natal health care are the worst affected.

Rethink, for the answer is in the first world.

In a review by the Healthcare Commission, the independent health inspectorate, London is the worst place to have a baby.

In the first review of maternity units in England, 19 out of 27 NHS trusts in the capital were ranked as the poorest performers across a range of 25 indicators, ranging from tests during antenatal care to staffing levels on labour wards.

One in five of the 148 trusts surveyed was found to be risking lives of mothers and babies by failing to carry out scans, discharging them too quickly or not following up with postnatal visits.

All trusts were ranked on a four-point scale from best to worst.

Requirements for screening were raised in new guidance issued by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) last April but nine out of 10 trusts were not meeting them, the review found.

Trusts with the lowest number of midwives performed worst.

The highest standards were in the North of England, where three-quarters of the 44 trusts were ranked as top performers.

In response, the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced extra funding reaching over three years to 122m Pounds per annum for maternity services and said the worst trusts would have to produce action plans.

''NHS, the strategic health authority, has much more work to do to ensure women receive the most modern maternity care. We will be holding the NHS to account," he was reported by The Independent.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said "serious concerns" about maternity services had triggered three full-scale investigations by the commission and accounted for one in 14 referrals to its investigation unit on safety grounds. The NHS Confederation, which represents NHS trusts, said the review revealed "deep concerns".

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