'Mistakes Will Be Made': Midwives Beg For More Staff

Midwives have delivered a desperate plea to the NSW Health Minister begging him for more staff in maternity wards.

Delivered to Brad Hazzard on behalf of midwives from 10 hospitals, the letter urges the state government “to implement mandated ratios in maternity services across all NSW public hospitals”.

It complained there are no ratios of midwives to mothers at hospitals including Royal Prince Alfred, Royal North Shore, Wollongong, Liverpool, Blacktown, Nepean, John hunter, Tweed, Lismore and Tamworth.

The group claimed they can often be caring for 12 mothers and their babies at any one time.

“NSW families deserve better," the letter continued.

"It is dangerous and unsafe when our hospitals are operating understaffed. Mistakes can be made."

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association linked the current staffing system with a decline in breastfeeding rates, which have dropped 8.4 percent since 2011. The association claimed staff are too busy running between patients to take the time to educate new mums.

In their open letter, the group asked the Berejiklian government to commit to a ratio of at least one midwife to three mothers in postnatal wards to provide a “clear and accountable system that patients can rely on”.

10 daily has contacted NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard for comment.