Hundreds march to make maternity message clear

Published date: 11 July 2017 |
Published by: Emily Davies 
Read more articles by Emily Davies  Email reporter


Campaigners fighting the threat to maternity services in Oswestry have made their message clear with a demonstration through the town.

More than 300 people – from newborns to grandparents – took to the streets on Sunday in a march aimed at making health bosses reopen the midwife-led unit.

It was temporarily closed – along with those in Ludlow and Bridgnorth – for up to six months earlier this month because of staff shortages, meaning women will have to travel to Wrexham, Shrewsbury or Telford to give birth.

Liz Grayston, a mother-of-four who launched the Save Oswestry MLU campaign at the end of last year, led dozens of families from the Bailey Head, while her husband Justin brought many more from Gobowen Railway Station, with both groups meeting outside the doors of the closed MLU.

Liz said they won’t give up, adding: “The turnout has been amazing – I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

“Other maternity units up and down the country are having the same problem, so I hope this shows them you can fight – and that you should fight.”

Many of the families at the protest brought babies and children who had been born at the MLU, while others had returned their for post-natal care – something campaigners say is crucial and is currently unavailable because of the closure, which could continue until the end of the year.

Ben and Kate Jones from Gobowen, whose son Ted made his arrival at the unit almost four months ago, said: “We had excellent care at Oswestry.

“It was personalised, especially for us as first-time parents, and it was unique. We never felt rushed.”

Some of those at the march took part for the future generations who will need it.

Su Perry, who gave birth to her daughter Emma Breeze at the unit 25 years ago, said: “I wouldn’t have been without the unit which is why I am here today.

“This is the third time we have had to fight for maternity services in Oswestry – but why should we fight for something we are entitled to?”

Emma, who received post-natal care at the unit when she gave birth to her son Alfie two years ago, added: “It’s such a trek to Telford for families and friends, and it’s a 40-minute drive to bring your baby home.

“You can’t beat the care they give at the Oswestry unit.

“They don’t just look after you, they are helping you with feeding, getting sleep when you need it – and they will never discharge you until you are ready.”

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