Support for under-threat midwife

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Bernadette Bowness
Bernadette Bowness
14 March 2017 12:16PM

A midwife threatened with disciplinary action after speaking out about a controversial maternity decision has received widespread support from across Cumbria.

Bernadette Bowness, a long-serving midwife at the West Cumberland Hospital, has been called to a meeting with bosses after expressing her views to the media.

It followed a decision by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to give consultant-led maternity a 12-month reprieve – which many fear is not long enough to tackle recruitment issues.

News of the disciplinary action by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has been met with anger from local health campaigners and the wider west Cumbrian community.

After the story was shared on social media, hundreds of people came out in support of Mrs Bowness.

The We Need West Cumberland Hospital Group has written to hospitals’ chief executive Stephen Eames to express its dismay.

In a reply, Mr Eames said all staff were bound by clear and transparent rules for engaging the media.

The hospital trust has refused to comment further.

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