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Women with a life-threatening condition weren't treated properly because of a lack of hospital staff, a watchdog has found.

The investigations point to capacity problems extending beyond maternity services at Counties Manukau DHB, where problems like a lack of staff contributed to the recent death or stillbirth of three babies.

The Maternal Morbidity Working Group (MMWG) is notified when a woman is admitted to intensive care or a high dependency unit while pregnant, or within 42 days of the end of the pregnancy.

It recently looked into cases where pregnant or recently pregnant women had severe sepsis, a condition where