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Babies are being put at risk because medics are too busy to undergo vital training

Maternity unit check shows staffing issues

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Report: The entrance to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Photo: Tony Gavin

Report: The entrance to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Photo: Tony Gavin

Report: The entrance to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Photo: Tony Gavin

Babies are being put at risk because too many doctors and midwives in maternity units are so busy they cannot take time to update their training in the use of vital monitoring equipment.

The stark weakness is highlighted in the first overview of the country's 19 maternity units by the patient watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

A key concern among the findings was the variations in the uptake of training in interpreting technology known as CTG - cardiotocogram tracing - which checks an unborn baby's heart rate for signs of foetal distress.