Maternity Services - Full Speed Astern
Over the past 20 or so years the "local midwife-led unit, based in a hospital or community clinic promoting natural births" have been closed down simply because there are complications during some pregancies that arise during the pregnancy.
With the larger units it is possible to ensure that the skills necessary to deal with the very rare situations are on hand. There is not the time to move people around the country and hence this way babies are born healthily and mothers remain healthy.
I have not taken part in the campaigns to protect the smaller units (such as the Sorrento in Birmingham) because I felt that the policy was right even if unpopular. That does not mean that mother are forced to have "unnatural births". What it means that if something goes wrong - which has always been the case for a small number - then it does not cause lasting problems for mum and/or baby.
I don't personally recommend birth at home (although it is an option for those people who want it) for exactly the same reasons.
This new government policy, reversing the policy of the last 20 years, seems to ignore the fact that the objective of the health service is to try to deal with all of the cases and save lives which otherwise would be lost.