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Unbelievable, but sadly not surprising. As is so often the case, the talk is purely in financial terms, rather than the impact on the lives of seriously injured people and their families.

However, even if you talk purely in terms of money, the issue is that successive governments have not funded maternity services properly notwithstanding that this area is (very obviously) a major risk area for maximum severity claims. Only last week, there were reports of around £100m being wasted by the use of agency and bank staff and overtime rates for midwives ( This is all to plug the gap in generally understaffed units and where there is an verall shortage of midwives. NB this is just midwives - I shudder to think what the overall figure is for nursing across the NHS.

There comes a point when 'savings' are not savings. They increase costs. Cutting nurses' bursary for training no doubt seemed like it would save money, but it doesn't take a genius to work out it will lead to a reduction in nurses (and midwives) training and qualifying. It's not that many years ago when there was a big push to recruit and train, yet when those people finished training and were looking for jobs, the funding for new staff was cut.

There are very real financial and human costs to these decisions, and laying the results purely at the door of the tort system is missing the point.

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