Shropshire Star

Rural maternity units in Shropshire will reopen for births

Expectant mothers will again be able to give birth at rural maternity units in Shropshire from January 1, health chiefs have confirmed.


The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Telford's Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, has confirmed that full inpatient maternity services at the midwife-led units in Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry will reopen from 11am on New Year's Day.

They were closed to births earlier this year due to staffing shortages.

The reopened services include the delivery suites for birth and postnatal care wards.

SaTH says the services are reopening following a successful recruitment programme and the introduction of new ways of working for the midwifery team.

A SaTH spokesman said: "This has been particularly around home births with an on-call arrangement which allows our midwives to be more flexible across the county.

"We advise any woman who is due to give birth in the New Year and would like to give birth at Bridgnorth, Ludlow or Oswestry midwife-led unit, to contact her midwife to discuss this.

"The safety of women and babies using our maternity service continues to be our number one priority and as with all areas of our hospitals, we have contingency plans in place should we face unexpectedly high levels of demand or face further staff shortages in the future.

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

It comes as new proposals for the future of maternity services in the county have been put forward by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin clinical commissioning groups following a review.

Under the plans, women would have the option of giving birth at a midwife-led maternity unit in Shrewsbury, Princess Royal Hospital in Telford or at home.

Births would not take place at rural maternity units, although a number of maternity hubs could be created to support women before and after birth.

The proposed new model has been approved for consultation by Shropshire CCG and now needs to go to Telford and Wrekin CCG for similar approval before a public consultation can begin.