The Rushden Echo and Argus, 29th December, 1944
More Maternity Beds Needed
Demand Influenced by Home Conditions
War-time conditions in the homes are creating difficulties in maternity cases at Rushden.
Admitting that the demand for beds in maternity wards and institutions was not being met, Dr. D. A. McCracken, M.O.H. for the area, told our representative: “If the home life was as it would be in peace-time there would be less demand for hospital accommodation. At present there is no domestic help, and the friendly neighbour who might lend a hand has other jobs to do.
“I don’t think the situation in Rushden is more difficult than anywhere else. At the moment we could do with more beds, but it is an abnormal situation, and until the thing is settled we don’t know. The scarcity of midwives everywhere is a snag.”
Dr. McCracken mentioned that the Northamptonshire County Council, which is the maternity authority, has just completed negotiations with Northampton Borough Council for a temporary building, giving increased maternity accommodation, to be added to the Barratt Home.
Rushden has no maternity home. Not many of its babies are born in the private home at Finedon, some at the Barratt Home, and a number of other specialising establishments. It is not easy to obtain reliable figures, but of the 281 births on Rushden’s list in 1943, 108 appear in the records as having been supervised by doctors and 73 by the nurses employed by the local Nursing Association. It may be assumed that of the remaining 100 a large proportion were effected in nursing homes and hospitals.
What matters most is that the health records are excellent. The infant mortality rate is low, and last year no Rushden mother died in consequence of child-birth. A County Council ante-natal clinic gives splendid service in the town.