Planned new contracts for junior doctors could leave maternity care in crisis at hospitals around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, with a report stating that medical professionals would flee the NHS for positions abroad.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has indicated that about two-thirds of junior doctors in this field would leave the profession or move abroad unless the contracts were changed.
A statement issued by the college reads: “We have continued to be contacted by trainees, members and senior colleagues expressing concerns about the impact the imposition of the proposed contract will have on not just [their] careers and family lives, but on medical students who are our trainees of tomorrow.
“We understand they feel disheartened and undervalued, and there is the risk that young doctors will be discouraged from entering the speciality or becoming doctors altogether.
“Compounded with gaps in the trainee rotas due to time out for research, flexible working or maternity leave, this will result in significant recruitment difficulties and our ability to provide a safe service for women and their babies.”
Industrial action is planned at hospitals around the region from 8am tomorrow morning (Tuesday) - with doctors picketing at sites including King’s Mill Hospital in Ashfield, and Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
At King’s Mill, just 28 junior doctors will be on duty from more than 200 - covering shifts in Accident and Emergency.
Junior doctors and their union, the British Medical Association (BMA) are objecting to a planned new contract.
The Government says the planned new contract will improve pay, while the BMA says it will make many junior doctors worse off.
Only 34 per cent of junior doctors plan to complete their training in obstetrics and gynaecology - which deals with childbirth and maternity - while a further 34 per cent say they would plan to look abroad for work.
A further 21 per cent of those surveyed said they would leave the profession altogether if the new contract comes into force.
Both King’s Mill and Chesterfield Royal say that maternity services will not be affected tomorrow if the strike goes ahead.