'Register now': Rallying cry to aid Shropshire's midwife-led maternity units

A Shropshire health campaigner has issued a rallying call to the public to fight to save the county's midwife-led units at a series of workshops starting next week.

Liz Grayston leading protesters on a maternity march in Oswestry
Liz Grayston leading protesters on a maternity march in Oswestry

But mother-of-four Liz Grayston, who is leading the campaign to save Oswestry's unit, has warned if you aree not registered to attend the consultation events you will not be allowed in.

The five sessions, run by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups (CCG), start next week in Oswestry and are a chance to be part of the discussions surrounding the future of Shropshire's MLUs.

However, capacity at these events is limited, so anyone intending to go along must pre-register.

Shropshire CCG is currently carrying out a review into the county's MLUs. The trust that runs Shropshire's two main hospitals is considering turning the MLUs at Bridgnorth, Oswestry and Ludlow into 'birthing centres' – closing at night.

Mrs Grayston is urging the public to pre-register for the workshops and make their voice heard in a bid to save the services.

"People don't seem to know they need to register for these community workshops which is worrying," she said. "These services are seriously under threat so I can't stress how important it is that people turn up.

"This is the stage where the CCG will start to form what midwife-led care will look like in the future so it's vital people go and have their say. I think if people don't turn up they will just use it as an excuse to go ahead with their plans and end post-natal care or get rid of them."

Earlier this year health bosses shut Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry MLUs for up to six months to send staff to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital’s (PRH) consultant-led unit.

Deirdre Fowler, director of nursing, midwifery and quality at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (SaTH) said the decision was made because an increasing number of women are choosing to give birth at unit in Telford, rather than at MLUs.

Mrs Grayston added: "The rest of the country is saying midwife-led care is an area they want to improve, yet, here in Shropshire we've got something that's pretty good so it seems really backwards to try and get rid of it.

"If you believe it is important to save these services, go along and tell them. Once it's all over, it'll be too late to save it."

The first event takes place on September 14 between 10am and 12.30pm at Cabin Lane Church, Oswestry.

Anyone intending to go along should email karen.higgins14@nhs.net with their name and the location of the workshops they would like to attend.

The rest of the sessions, which all take place from 10am to 12.3pm, are:

  • September 18 at The Rockspring Community Centre, Sandford Road, Ludlow, SY8 1SX

  • September 20 at St James Hall, Lodge Lane, Bridgnorth, WV15 5DD

  • September 22 at Festival Drayton Centre, Frogmore Road, Market Drayton, TF9 3AX

  • September 25 at Park Lane Centre, Woodside, Telford, TF7 5QZ

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