Maternity and sick leave creates Jersey midwife shortage

There is a shortage of midwives in Jersey because many are on maternity leave, according to the head of midwifery at Jersey General Hospital.

Elaine Torrence said many staff were off work having babies themselves so space for antenatal classes was down.

In 2010 Jersey saw a baby boom with about 1,000 births, and figures are similar this year, Ms Torrence added.

She said she hoped the extra classes put on at the weekend had helped those who wanted to attend the sessions.

"We've had a large number of our midwives on maternity leave and a little spate of long term sickness regrettably," Ms Torrence said.

"And when activity rises in the unit, by that I mean on the delivery suite, if we had a class planned that evening regrettably we have to cancel that and prioritise where the midwife is needed most."

She added: "We had a little flurry of having to cancel our classes but I think we've accommodated most of those women by two extra weekend sessions that we've put on."

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