Letter: Threat to midwives

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Sir: I was astonished to read that the One-to-One midwifery scheme is under threat of closure (letter, 2 October).

As a mother of two and with another on the way, I feel most strongly that it is extremely important for those making the decisions to be fully aware of the physical, psychological and, perhaps more importantly to them, financial benefits of this scheme.

I had my first child at Queen Charlotte's and had shared care between hospital and GP. This involved meeting with a different midwife on each hospital visit. I wasted a good deal of everyone's valuable time, because of the lack of midwife continuity. The last straw was when the midwife who had looked after me through labour had to leave shortly before I gave birth because her shift had ended.

With my second child I was advised by my doctor to opt for the One-to- One scheme. For a working mother it was ideal. It gave me the confidence to sail through my pregnancy with no other medical attention apart from that received from the midwife. I spent a maximum of one hour in the hospital during the nine months of my pregnancy. I went to hospital for the last stage of labour and the birth. I arrived at l0pm and was back home by lam.

The time element in itself demonstrates how much money must be saved through fewer hospital and GP visits. It would be more sensible to expand the One-to-One service rather than axe it, so that more women can enjoy this excellent service.

NICKI GUNNING

London W3

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