Budget Cuts Special Report: The latest round of budget cuts to an already cash-strapped NHS led to a woman giving birth on a photograph of a hospital yesterday, as nurses told her the real thing was “just too full”.
Austerity measures have meant that the Kent & Canterbury Hospital’s maternity ward was ‘way beyond capacity’, with midwives instructing the expectant mother to give birth on a photograph of the ward on the pavement outside – “the best option available”, she was advised, and the “closest she was going to get to an actual bed”.
“I am afraid that things are only going to get worse” warned Richard Evans, spokesman for the East Kent NHS Foundation Trust.
“Right now the photos we’re asking mums to give birth on are glossy 8″x10″ colour snaps, but if the cuts continue this may end up being a black and white. It’s even possible that it might end up being just a photocopy – or even a sketch, hastily drawn by some junior midwife.”
Pregnant women across Kent are furious at the news.
“I’ve been on the waiting list to give birth on a 12″x18″ photo, but now I’ve been told even that’s unlikely,” said Linda Trellis, 27, from Faversham.
“It’s a nice photo and everything, but I’m expecting twins and the 8″x10″ is a clearly far too small to safely give birth to both babies on. These politicians are just completely out of touch.”
Mr. Evans, apologised for the inconvenience but insists there is ‘nothing he can do’.
“Of course the photo’s are properly sterilised beforehand, and mothers giving birth on them will have at least five doctors in attendance at all times. Sure, it’s five cardboard cutouts of doctors, but they’re made of sturdy cardboard and all have happy, smiling faces.”
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