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"The government said maternity units sometimes were forced to take action because it was hard to predict demand."
While I know there are exceptions, I would have thought it was pretty easy to tell if a lady is pregnant, and also how far along she is!
Not being a lady myself I'll have to use the case of my sister...
First baby was a shade over two weeks late, labour lasted roughly 18 hours
Second baby was a week early and labour lasted a shade under an hour.
Hows that for unpredictable demand, and that's just one person
This is the 'Target Culture' raising it head one more isn't it?
Even if the number of expecting ladies in a given area is known- beds cannot be magic-ed up by the due date.
The only way to control this situation is 'getting pregnant by appointment'
Even this would not take into consideration the mobile element of population.
This is a similar situation to the targeting emergency ambulance response times.
In a [say] 10 ambulance station- call 11 will take a little longer and may be the most critical- that cannot be planned for.
My 1st baby was a week late, labour lasted 8 hours. Stay in Maternity was 2 nights. I was induced so that was predicted.
2nd came on the predicted day, labour lasted 6 hours. Stay in Maternity was less than a day, in Sunday 10pm and we went home Monday before 4pm.
3rd came 2 1/2 weeks early and waters broke 9am Friday morning, labour didn't actually start til that night. Admitted to Maternity Friday afternoon, with some pains, and baby was born 4am Saturday morning. Maternity stay was 4 days.
As jack says, targets just lead to failure to meet the targets.
The same happens with schools, because you can now choose a school for your child (whether born in hospital or the car park) this leads to some schools being over subscribed and others being under subscribed.
The over subscribed schools then have to weed out 20-30% of applicants so that they can meet target class sizes. Then we get parents kicking off on Breakfast TV because little Beatrice and Kelvin didn't get into the best school.
I'll not forget the Montreal gynaecologist who looked after my wife when she was pregnant with our youngest son. When she went for a final checkup, with the baby due to appear at any time, he told her "You have a choice, Mrs. Thing. You can take the chance that your baby will arrive during the weekend, in which case I won't be around if needed. Or you can book yourself in for tomorrow and I'll induce it for you. But one way or another I'm going fishing this weekend."
Oh dear. I'm going to have to stop these tongue in cheek posts - some people take them seriously.
It was` just that "hard to predict demand" stirred my sense of the ridiculous!
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