Pregnancy services at Shrewsbury day unit on hold because of staff shortages

Oswestry | News | Published:

Services for pregnant women at Shrewsbury's hospital are being put on hold due to staff shortages.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

The temporary suspension of services at Shrewsbury Day Assessment Unit will run from Monday, April 24 until May 8.

The unit oversees antenatal appointments, such as blood tests, blood pressure monitoring and scans.

Women who had appointments booked during the period when the services will be unavailable are being contacted. Alternative appointments will be offered at either RSH midwife-led unit, RSH outpatients or the Day Assessment Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

Anthea Gregory-Page, deputy head of midwifery at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: "Unfortunately due to unexpected staff shortages the Day Assessment Unit, also known as DAU, at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital will be unavailable from April 24 2017 until May 8 2017.

"Women who have existing bookings at the unit during this period are being contacted, and women who need appointments between April 24 and May 8 will be offered these at RSH Midwife Led Unit, RSH outpatients or the Day Assessment Unit at PRH.

"I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

Staff shortages also led to the temporary overnight suspension of services at Bridgnorth midwife-led unit last night. It reopened at 8am yesterday.

There are ongoing discussions about whether the county's midwife-led units should change and health bosses have said they will likely come to a decision by the end of June. Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group is currently carrying out a review into the county's midwife-led units.

The trust that runs Shropshire's two main hospitals recently said they think the three midwife-led units at Bridgnorth, Oswestry, and Ludlow should become 'birthing centres' – closing at night.

Campaigners said that they would resist the move, which they see as a downgrading of services. People in Bridgnorth, Oswestry and Ludlow are calling for assurances that midwife-led units in smaller towns will not face cuts, raising the spectre of overnight closures or being removed from the town completely in coming years.

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