Closed Doors

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

AIMS Journal, 2008, Vol 20 No 3

Recently the national newspapers carried the story of a woman who was sent home in labour, and when she tried to return to give birth her labour progressed so quickly that her baby was born in a car park. This situation is not that uncommon, and midwives are frequently called to attend 'born before arrival' births. What is worrying, however, is the current situation where maternity units have no staff available, so they close their doors to labouring women and either send them home or more often to an alternative unit many miles away.

AIMS is hearing that this is happening more and more regularly and yet there seems to be little awareness. This is an issue of short-staffing which impacts on women and midwives. The one-mother-one-midwife campaign would make this situation a rarity, as would a dramatic increase in support for home birth. Under situations where a unit is too short of staff to care for any more women they are probably already under such strain that they are being forced to compromise the safety of the women they are already caring for.

Anyone who has thoughts on the situation, or is concerned about units closing their doors can contact chair@aims.org.uk.


The AIMS Journal spearheads discussions about change and development in the maternity services..

AIMS Journal articles on the website go back to 1960, offering an important historical record of maternity issues over the past 60 years. Please check the date of the article because the situation that it discusses may have changed since it was published. We are also very aware that the language used in many articles may not be the language that AIMS would use today.

To contact the editors, please email: journal@aims.org.uk

We make the AIMS Journal freely available so that as many people as possible can benefit from the articles. If you found this article interesting please consider supporting us by becoming an AIMS member or making a donation. We are a small charity that accepts no commercial sponsorship, in order to preserve our reputation for providing impartial, evidence-based information. You can make donations at Peoples Fundraising. To become an AIMS member or join our mailing list see Join AIMS

AIMS supports all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaigns for a system which truly meets the needs of all.

Latest Content

Journal

« »

Report of Parliamentary Debate on B…

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 1 By Elle Gundry The first parliamentary debate on birth trauma took place in the House of Commons on Thursday 19th October 2023. [1] Thank…

Read more

Doulas supporting clients to make a…

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 1 By Anne Glover I work with women from all walks of life, but one thing that is important to them all, is having a positive and satisfying…

Read more

My Complaint

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 1 Editor’s note: In this quite shocking account of disrespect and neglect, Grace describes the arrival of her first baby. With Grace’s perm…

Read more

Events

« »

AIMS Workshop: Focus on Birth witho…

Join us for an interactive online AIMS workshop "Focus on Birth Without Bias" with Hannah King, midwife and professional doctorate student who is examining the contributi…

Read more

Screening of the new 'Born at Home'…

Rosanna Sunshine from the Mother Rite is hosting a screening of the new 'Born at Home' Documentary with a showing in Bath on 22 May 2024 - please click here to find out m…

Read more

ARM Summer Meeting: The courage to…

https://midwifery.org.uk/events/

Read more

Latest Campaigns

« »

Evidence Submission to The House of…

Find submission on UK Parliament webite https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/129150/pdf Introduction AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Servi…

Read more

What are the priorities for midwife…

AIMS is proud to be supporting the RCM's Research Prioritisation project as a Project Partner and with one of our volunteers on the Steering Group www.rcm.org.uk/promotin…

Read more

Parliamentary Inquiry into Birth Tr…

Introduction to AIMS and why AIMS is making a submission Since 1960, AIMS has been the leading advocate for improvements in UK maternity care. We have national and intern…

Read more