Letter: Labour shortage

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The Independent Online
Sir: How can Diane Coyle be so sure that she will get a hospital bed and a midwife when she needs them? ("Cut queues but rationing will remain", 19 May.) This will depend on the ratio of midwives on duty to the number of women in labour at the time.

When I had my first child nine women were in labour, cared for by three midwives. I spent most of my labour "supported" by two first-year student nurses on their first day in obstetrics, a pre-clinical medical student and my bewildered husband. When a problem arose I had to take charge of the situation and tell them all what to do!

Ms Coyle has already observed that there are too few doctors in her antenatal clinic. I hope that the reality in July measures up to her expectations.

CELIA C HOWELLS

Guildford,

Surrey

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