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David Jones/PA Wire
UK News

Call for prayer for NHS staff under pressure

by Eno Adeogun

Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy at Christian Medical Fellowship said during News Hour that there is a "clear financial crisis in funding" in the NHS, as Labour has claimed nearly half of England's maternity units closed to new mothers at some point last year.

The party says its research shows the extent of the NHS staffing crisis affecting services.

Taylor told Premier Christians can support NHS staff dealing with stress.

She said: "I think the Church can certainly serve nurses and midwives and doctors even more by praying for them in terms of the stress that they're under - the pressure dealing with people who are very ill and needing care and compassion.

The Department of Health says there are enough midwives, and the closures are 'well-rehearsed'.

Taylor went on to say: "The UK is not alone in facing this crisis. Most wealthy nations across Europe and the west are facing similar crises like this and are struggling with the similar problems - funding, staffing, retaining staff and increasing problems and pressures for health care and services.

Expectant mothers have faced being turned away from more than four out of 10 maternity wards due to lack of beds and staff, according to the data obtained by Labour.

Hospitals in England temporarily closed their maternity wards to new admissions on 382 occasions last year, compared to 375 times in 2015 and 225 occasions in 2014, with capacity issues and staff shortages among the main causes, the party said.

The figures were uncovered through freedom of information requests to 136 hospital trusts with maternity units in England, where 42 out of the 96 trusts that responded to Labour's requests said they had temporarily closed their doors on at least one occasion in 2016.

Listen to Philippa Taylor speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

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