23 March 2018
Inpatient services at Bridgnorth Midwife Led Unit (MLU) are to be suspended to ensure the safe care of mums using Shropshire’s maternity services.
Services at Bridgnorth will be suspended from 8pm on Sunday (25 March) until 8am on Sunday 22 April. The unit will remain open between 8am and 8pm for antenatal and postnatal services, but will not be able to accept inpatients. Services at Oswestry MLU will also be suspended from 8pm tomorrow (Saturday) until 8am on Sunday. Women booked to give birth at Oswestry MLU who go into labour during this time will be offered a birth at another MLU or the Consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. If any women due to give birth at Oswestry MLU require support during this time they will be able to access a Midwife. All women potentially affected by the suspension have been contacted.
Meanwhile, full services at Ludlow MLU will resume at 8am on Sunday. Inpatient services there were suspended on 10 March.
An increasing number of our mums are choosing, or being assessed as needing, to have their babies in our Consultant-led unit over our rural MLUs. To protect their safety during the birth, we are having to look to temporary closures to allow staff to follow our mums’ decisions.
Sarah Jamieson, Head of Midwifery at SaTH, said: “The issues which have been affecting our maternity service continue, with the majority of our mums choosing to deliver their babies at our Consultant-led at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, or being assessed as needing a Consultant-led birth because of medical need, in the best interests of mum and baby.
“I must reiterate that decisions over staffing are made purely on the basis of the choice our women are making and about maintaining their safety. With 98% of women giving birth away from our rural MLUs, it is important that our midwives are where our mums are. I know there have been some comments about planned future suspensions, but I must reiterate again that no decisions have been taken, There is no hidden agenda here.
“The safety of women and babies using our maternity services has been, and always will be, our number one priority.”
Sarah reiterated that SaTH would be undertaking a period of engagement as the Trust anticipates women will continue to give birth away from our rural MLUs.
She said: “During the engagement period we would like to hear from local people, and particularly women and families using our maternity services, to understand how we can best meet their needs until a new long-term sustainable model of care proposed by Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can be fully implemented. Plans for the engagement period are being finalised and further details will be provided in due course.”