‘Midwives in tears at work’

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MIDWIVES crying at work and complaints of bullying by consultants were all revealed in a review of women’s services at the district’s hospitals.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said “substantial change” had took place since the independent review of maternity and gynaecology services.

Staff at the service, which is run at Pinderfields, Dewsbury and Pontefract hospitals, complained of excessive hours and low staffing levels during the review, which was commissioned in late 2010.

A midwife support worker told the investigators: “We see midwives crying at work increasingly often. They aren’t well supported.”

High sickness levels and the use of temporary staff were causing a large overspend for the department, which delivers around 6,700 babies a year.

Concerns were also raised over lessons learned after serious incidents happened.

The behaviour of consultants was also investigated.

Complaints included bullying, sexism, working to personal agendas, not being present for ward duties and refusing to use new technology, the report said.

The report, which was made public last week, found there was a “lack of clarity” about roles and responsibilities” and that management at the trust were seen as “the dark side”.

It concluded that the women’s service was safe, but made 18 separate recommendations to tackle the problems.

Mid Yorkshire said feedback from women and families was analysed and new ways of working implemented since the review.

Action included the appointment of a clinical manager, two midwife consultants and midwife support workers.

Chief nurse Tracey McErlain-Burns said: “The external review shone a light on some behaviours which are no longer tolerated. The women’s service is now managed by the women’s board. It is led by doctors and midwives, supported by managers.”