Template letter - (can be copied and pasted):
Clinical Director Maternity (Your address)
(Hospital address) (Date)
Consultant Presence on Labour Ward
I am writing regarding the level of Consultant presence on your Labour ward.
The recent RoyalCollege of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) census appears to show that your hospital is not meeting the minimum recommended hours of Consultant presence on Labour ward. These hours are stated in the RCOG document ‘Safer Childbirth’ and are one of the Criterion required by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST applies to hospitals in England only).
Researchers have estimated that nationally approximately 500 babies a year die during or soon after labour due to avoidable events.
Increased Consultant cover on labour wards has been shown to improve the quality of care, reducing the number of incidents of harm, in particular a proved reduction in the incidences of Stillbirth.
The NHS Litigation Authority has also shown that in the thousands of incidents that resulted in claims, junior doctors and inexperienced midwives were often involved in the management of labour without adequate assistance from senior clinicians. They also state that having more senior staff available during labour together with a better understanding among junior staff about when to ask them for help may prevent harm.
I urge you to look into this matter and resolve the issue.
I hope you are able to respond with a date by which you will meet the Consultant presence hours required by both RCOG and the NHS LA.