Swine flu could cause midwife shortage hospital trusts warn

Sickness absence among midwives caused by the swine flu virus could limit choice in maternity care, hospital trusts have warned.

Pregnant women could be told not to plan for home births or Caesarean sections that are not medically required if there is a huge rise in the number of nurses absent because of the virus, The Times has reported.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is considering issuing these guidelines.

More than 100,000 people in the UK are estimated to have caught swine flu in the past week.

Meanwhile the government has rejected criticisms it should have opened the swine flu helpline sooner.

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