17/10/2011 05:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Sick And Premature Babies At Risk Because Of Nursing Cuts

Newborn baby and mother PA

A charity claims the lives of seriously ill babies are being put at risk by the cuts in nursing staff.

The charity Bliss says that demotion of nurses, not filling of job vacancies, and redundancy of existing staff is 'significantly' affecting the care of sick and premature babies in Britain's 172 neonatal units.

The charity called for an extra 1,150 nurses last year to fall in line with the minimum standards requiring 70% of nurses and midwives in neonatal units to be qualified in specialist care. Bliss claims that instead, more than half had failed to meet the target and that 140 positions have been cut.

Bliss spokesperson Andy Cole said: "Assurances that frontline ­services would not be affected by changes in the NHS is not true. The Government and the NHS must take responsibility now and ensure our tiniest and sickest babies receive the highest standard of care at this critical time in their lives."

Have you been affected by or aware of cuts at neonatal units?