9 March 2018

Inpatient services at Ludlow Midwife Led Unit (MLU) are to be suspended for two weeks to ensure the safe care of mums using Shropshire’s maternity services.

Services at Ludlow will be suspended from 5pm tomorrow (Saturday 10 March) until 9am on 25 March. The unit will remain open between 8am and 8pm for antenatal and postnatal services, but will not be able to accept inpatients.

Meanwhile, full services will open at Oswestry MLU at 10am on Sunday (11 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: “As we have said previously, despite a successful recruitment campaign which allowed us to reopen our rural MLUs for births at the start of the year, our service continues to see mums choosing the Consultant-led unit over these units, or being assessed as needing a Consultant-led birth because of medical need.

“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. 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. Staffing levels are an important factor in delivering a high-quality, safe service for women and their babies and we are continuing to work to make sure we have the very best teams in the right place.

“We are intending to undertake a period of engagement as we anticipate women will continue to give birth away from our rural MLUs, and our midwives will need to be where our mums are.

“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.”