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One to One Midwives secured a contract with the NHS to provide a single dedicated midwife to provide antenatal, birth and postnatal care across Essex and the Northwest of England. One to One claimed they could offer a “personalised service that places woman and their families at the heart of our care.” However, in a statement released on 29 July “NHS commissioners have been advised that One to One (North West) Limited have taken the decision that they are unable to continue with their contract to provide community midwifery services and will go into administration at 5pm on Wednesday 31st July 2019.”

Mothers could opt in to receive care from One to One rather than use the traditional NHS midwife service, they were attracted by the continuity of carer provided, as recommended by the National Maternity Review in a case-loading model of care. However, they have failed to provide this level of service cost effectively leading to them go into administration, this has left thousands of women without care, needing to transfer their service to an alternative provider with only two days-notice. Some have been advised that it may take a couple of weeks to be referred, meaning that some new mothers may not have a midwife in place for the birth of their child.

A couple of months ago, Concordia Specialist Care Services ceased their dermatology contract giving the clinical commissioning group less than a week’s notice. One to One’s recent revelation has put into question the NHS contracting services out to private companies.

Sam Older, Unison Eastern regional organiser, said: “It appears that, yet again, a private company has realised it can’t squeeze enough money out of the NHS so has decided to up sticks and leave.

“As always, it’s the patients and public that will pay the price and we hope commissioners can act swiftly to assure expectant parents they’ll still get the help they need during pregnancy and beyond.”

“But the surest way to stop a repeat of this crisis is to end this secretive privatisation of our community health services and ensure the NHS has the resources it needs to provide the full and comprehensive healthcare the people of Essex want and need.”

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