Midwives drafted in to cover staff shortages at Conquest maternity unit

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Extra midwives have been drafted in from almost 30 miles away to the Conquest Hospital’s maternity unit to tackle staff shortages.

Crowborough Birthing Centre has been temporarily shut for four days so staff can work at the hospital on The Ridge.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the Conquest, Eastbourne’s DGH and the birthing centre, blamed the situation on sickness and a shortage of agency staff.

A spokeswoman said: “Due to current staff shortages on the maternity unit at Conquest Hospital, the trust has temporarily closed Crowborough Birthing Centre to enable staff from Crowborough to work at the Conquest.

“The staff shortages are a result of sickness, unavailability of bank staff due to school holidays and annual leave. We have recently recruited six newly qualified midwives who are waiting for their registrations to come through before starting work, and we are currently out to advert to recruit a further four midwives.

“On average, four women a week give birth at Crowborough, and any woman due to give birth at Crowborough over the weekend should contact their midwife if they have any concerns. Crowborough Birthing Centre will re-open at 8am on Monday (November 4).”