Bridgnorth Midwife Led Unit services suspended for a month
Inpatient services at Bridgnorth Midwife Led Unit will be suspended for nearly a month to ensure the safe care of mothers using Shropshire's maternity services.
Services at Bridgnorth MLU will be suspended from 8pm tomorrow until 8am on Sunday, April 22.
The unit will remain open between 8am and 8pm for antenatal and postnatal services – but will not be able to accept inpatients.
Meanwhile, full services at Ludlow Midwife Led Unit will resume at 8am tomorrow. Inpatient services there were suspended on March 10.
An increasing number of mothers are choosing, or being assessed as needing, to have their babies in consultant-led units over rural MLUs. To protect their safety during the birth, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is having to look to temporary closures to allow staff to follow mothers' decisions.
Sarah Jamieson, head of midwifery at SaTH, said: "The issues which have been affecting our maternity service continue, with the majority of our mums choosing to deliver their babies at our consultant-led at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, or being assessed as needing a consultant-led birth because of medical need, in the best interests of mum and baby.
"I must reiterate that decisions over staffing are made purely on the basis of the choice our women are making and about maintaining their safety. With 98 per cent of women giving birth away from our rural MLUs, it is important that our midwives are where our mums are.
"I know there have been some comments about future planned suspensions, but I must reiterate again that no decisions have been taken, there is no hidden agenda here.
"The safety of women and babies using our maternity services has been, and always will be, our number one priority."
She reiterated that the trust would be undertaking a period of engagements as the they anticipate women will continue to give birth away from the rural MLUs.
"During the engagement period we would like to hear from local people, and particularly women and families using our maternity services, to understand how we can best meet their needs until a new long-term sustainable model of care is proposed by Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can be fully implemented," she added.
"Plans for the engagement period are being finalised and further details will be provided in due course."