Insurers offer a hotel room to young mothers for lack of staff

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Postnatal care staffing has dropped so much that insurers in the Eindhoven region are transferring new mothers to a Holiday Inn hotel because there are no maternity nurses to visit them at home.

The measure is temporary and will last two months, insurers and postnatal care organizations said. Normally, new mothers receive a a few hours of help a day a maternity nurse who will look after the baby and carry out practical tasks at home.

Women who refuse a hotel stay because they hope that help will eventually be available at home run the risk of not receiving any help at home, insurers have said.

“We will of course try to comply with our obligation to provide care, but if we cannot deliver, we cannot deliver,” a spokesperson for insurer Coöperatie VGZ told the local channel. Omroep Brabant.

The VGZ spokesman said the situation is similar elsewhere but Eindhoven is exceptionally short of staff. “We are facing a unique combination of understaffing, holidays, illness and a spike in postnatal support requests in August and September.”

Efficient

The hotel move means postnatal caregivers can work more efficiently because there is no travel, he said. “A nurse who helps two women in eight hours on her normal rounds can probably help four in the hotel, or even five.”

The hotel will have a maximum of nine rooms available for new mothers under the care of two staff members. The partners can stay the night but if a couple has other children, the parents will have to find a solution for them.

Any follow-up will be in the form of instructional videos, the insurers said.

Postnatal care organization NBvK said it was “aware of the problem, but we had no idea it was going to happen”. The organization said the hotel could operate temporarily. “We want everyone who needs it to have postnatal care. But watching videos is not one of them.

The organization said it would help if maternity nurses “who do hard work for too little money” get a pay rise.

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