Shropshire maternity hubs plan moves a step closer
A review which would see Shropshire's rural midwife-led units turned into “maternity hubs” has taken a step forward.
Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body passed the midwife-led unit service model at its meeting this morning.
Now the model will be presented to Telford CCG on January 9 before going out to consultation at a later date.
The revised model would see women giving birth at Telford, Shrewsbury, or at home, while antenatal and postnatal care would take place at maternity hubs across the county, earmarked for Shrewsbury, Telford, Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry.
The news has angered campaigners who want the rural units to remain as midwife-led units.
Video of today's CCG meeting:
Dr Jessica Sokolov, a GP and clinical director of women’s and children’s services, told the board that they started the review because they had concerns from both members of the public and SaTH.
She said: “Members of the public were saying the units are being closed at short notice, and the trust were saying that they couldn’t guarantee one to one care, and it was causing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. 85 per cent of our population is now delivering in our consultant unit.
“One of our aims is to increase the number of midwife-led deliveries rather than consultant-led deliveries.
“It’s a safe and sustainable model. 73 per cent of women who are registered with a GP in south Shropshire gave birth at PRH.”
Patient representative Graham Shepherd asked what guarantee there will be that midwives will be available for home births.
He said: “There have been incidents reported in the last six months of midwives not making it in time and husbands delivering babies.
“If people chose to give birth at home, the model doesn’t offer a level of safety that I would want for my wife.”
Clinical chairman Dr Julian Povey said: “I was born at home with the cord around my neck and you can’t plan for these things.”
Dr Sokolov said safety is the first priority.
Fiona Ellis, programme manager, said the aim is “localising where possible.”
Updates from the meeting: