Births set to return to Oswestry Maternity Unit from Monday

Reporter:

Emily Davies

Women will be able to give birth at Oswestry’s maternity unit from Monday.

The midwife-led unit – along with those in Bridgnorth and Ludlow – will reopen fully from 11am following a six-month temporary closure because of staff shortages.

As well as births, mothers will also have the opportunity to stay at the unit for postnatal care.

A spokesperson for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (SaTH) NHS Trust, which is responsible for the MLUs, said: “Services are reopening following a successful recruitment programme, and the introduction of new ways of working for the midwifery team. 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 Owsestry 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.”

However, the long-term future of births at the MLUs is still in doubt after a maternity review proposed only allowing births at the Wrekin MLU in Telford, the consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital, or at home.

Save Oswestry Maternity Unit campaigner, Liz Grayston, welcomed the reopening of the unit but urged mothers-to-be to make use of it.

The SaTH spokesperson added: “The reopening of inpatient maternity services in Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry is separate from our clinical commissioners’ proposal for a new service model for midwifery-led services across the county.

“The proposed new model has been approved for consultation by Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and now needs to go to Telford and Wrekin CCG for similar approval before a public consultation on the long-term pattern of maternity services in this area can begin.”

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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