Maternity services are suffering from inadequate staffing levels and poor facilities, according to a recent Healthcare Commission report.

In a survey of 150 trusts, some trusts had as few as two beds available per 1,000 births, meaning that each bed was used, on average, by more than one woman in 24 hours.

The report also found that consultant obstetricians did not spend enough time on labour wards, and doctors and midwives did not attend in-service training courses.

There were also worrying differences between trusts, with some hospitals far worse staffed than others, and the report also found only 16 per cent of units had one bathroom per delivery room, and fewer than half of the women surveyed reported that the toilets were "very clean".

There was also an inadequate continuity of care, and inspectors found that 17 per cent of trusts had no systems at all for collecting data about their maternity services, including the concerns of women giving birth and staff.

What do you think are the main problems facing maternity services?

Can you give any examples of when care standards were not being met?

Why do you think there are such big differences between trusts?

How do you think maternity services can be improved?

Do you think these surveys help motivate NHS staff to improve their standard of care, or do they demoralise them?