Staff levels in post natal care have dropped so drastically that insurers in the Eindhoven region are moving new mothers into a Holiday Inn hotel because there are no maternity nurses to visit them at home.
The measure is a temporary one and will last two months, insurers and post natal care organisations have said. Normally new mothers receive a couple of hours of help a day from a maternity nurse who will look after the baby and carry out practical tasks at home.
Women who refuse a stay at the hotel because they hope help will be available at home after all run the risk of not receiving any home help at all, the insurers said.
‘We will of course try to comply with our duty of providing care but if we can’t deliver, we can’t deliver,’ a spokesman for insurer Coöperatie VGZ told local broadcaster Omroep Brabant.
The VGZ spokesman said the situation is similar elsewhere but that Eindhoven is exceptionally short of staff. ‘We are facing a unique combination of lack of staff, holidays, illness and a peak in requests for post natal help in August and September.’
The move to the hotel means post natal carers can work more efficiently because there is no travel involved, he said. ‘A nurse who helps two women in eight hours on her normal round can probably help four at the hotel, or even five.’
The hotel will have a maximum of nine rooms available for new mothers under the care of two members of staff. Partners can stay the night but if a couple have other children parents will have to find a solution for them.
Any aftercare will come in the shape of instruction videos, the insurers said.
Post natal care organisation NBvK said it was ‘aware of the problem but we did not know this was going to happen.’ The organisation said that the hotel could work as a temporary measure. ‘We want everyone who needs it to have post natal care. But watching videos is not part of that.’
The organisation said that it would help if maternity nurses ‘who are doing a tough job for too little money’, were given a pay rise.
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