Health bosses hoping to hear about Shropshire maternity consultation by next month
Health bosses say they are hoping to hear whether a public consultation about maternity services in Shropshire can go ahead as planned by the end of next month.
The consultation will consider proposals to shake-up maternity services and end births at the rural midwife-led units (MLUs) in Oswestry, Ludlow and Bridgnorth.
NHS England must give approval for the consultation to go ahead.
David Evans, joint accountable officer for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, says the feedback received so far has been 'positive' and he was hoping to hear by the end of the month, or in February, as to weather the process can enter the next stage.
Speaking about how soon the CCGs would like the public consultation to start, Mr Evans said: "Ideally as quickly as possible."
Under the proposals, which have already been signed off by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs, women will be able to give birth at the consultant-led unit at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, at the hospital’s neighbouring midwife led unit at PRH, at a free-standing midwife-led unit at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or at home.
However, the location of consultant-led women and children's services could be affected by the Future Fit plans.
A series of maternity ‘hubs’ would also be created to support women before and after birth.
Health bosses previously said more than 98 per cent of women were choosing to give birth away from the rural units.
Births are currently suspended for the foreseeable future at the three rural maternity units.
But before that happened health campaigners had expressed their dismay at repeated temporary suspensions of inpatient services at the MLUs.
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