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Midwives left in large numbers from a DHB where a lack of staffing and bed space has been linked to baby deaths, documents show.

Housing costs and witnessing frequent "uplifts" of newborns by Oranga Tamariki (formerly CYFS) added to stress on staff within Counties Manukau DHB's maternity and birthing services.

The Weekend Herald revealed yesterday the DHB had taken urgent steps to improve maternity services after problems like lack of staff and bed space which contributed to the recent death or stillbirth of three babies, and injury and harm to other patients.

Extra staff have been hired, but an