Growing protest over threat to baby unit

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

Families filled Cae Glas Park in Oswestry last weekend as part of a campaign to protect the town’s maternity services.

The march to save the midwife-led unit (MLU) based at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen was joined by more than 100 mothers, fathers, children, expecting parents and the Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Paul Milner.

Liz Grayston, a mother of four, established the Save Oswestry Maternity Unit group at the end of last year after health bosses suggested there could be cuts to Shropshire’s more rural MLUs.

Similar marches took place across the county in Bridgnorth and Ludlow. Campaigners in all three towns are calling for assurance that the smaller departments will not be downgraded to birthing centres.

Liz said: “We had a fantastic turnout and it was good to see so much support for the unit, and we managed to get some more signatures on the petition.

“Last week health bosses said they don’t see closing it overnight as a downgrade but local women definitely do. They really value the post natal care as well.”

The group also sold cupcakes donated by Babybird Cafe in Oswestry and Artisans in Lake Vyrnwy to cover campaign costs.

Cllr Milner added: “I applaud Liz and all of her team for the sterling work that they have done over recent weeks in raising the profile of Oswestry’s maternity unit.

“At the recent health meeting that was chaired by our MP Owen Paterson, an undertaking was given by Jo Banks from the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) that the maternity unit in Oswestry was safe. But since then, it appears that this statement is not true.

“By walking together we show solidarity for our maternity unit and hopefully we will soon hear the news that we all hope for, but most of all, we expect.”

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