The Conservatives have claimed that two women a day were turned away from England’s maternity units last year.
Hospitals had to close their doors to 747 women because their units were too full or were short staffed, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
In total, 129 of the 148 NHS trusts that provide maternity services provided information, of which 44% (57 trusts) closed their unit or diverted women to other units on a minimum of one occasion last year.
The average was five closures per trust across the country, while fourteen trusts (11%) closed their maternity unit more than 10 times.
These figures are unchanged from 2008, when there were also five closures per trust on average.
The Tories said this called into question why already overstretched services were being closed, and pointed out that women were often forced to travel up to 100 miles to other units to give birth.
Now, I know this is politics and numbers can be manipulated, but this rings true with many stories I have heard. A friend of mine who delivered a baby last summer was told by her doctor to 'bring a pillow and some extra blankets' to the hospital when she went into labour in case there was no bed for her. She left the UK and gave birth elsewhere, and she is not my only friend that left the country to delivery their child. The glories of universal health care.