CAMPAIGNING councillor Jim Ryan has called on the people of Solihull to join him in stopping plans to slash maternity services at Solihull Hospital.
The plans, which will see the majority of pregnant women go to Heartlands or Good Hope Hospitals, have been fiercely criticised across the political spectrum.
“We need to mobilise public support, I want people to write letters to the Solihull News and bombard their MPs and with the support of the people we will take our campaign to London and to Parliament and to the Department of Health,” said Coun Ryan (Con Bickenhill) who has led by launching a petition against the plans.
The proposals, unveiled this month by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, means only women with low risk births will be able to go to Solihull Hospital next April.
Currently, all would-be mothers can go to Solihull Hospital and be seen by a midwife, with a doctor on hand.
An estimated 2,700 babies are born at the hospital every year and this would fall to just one in four - or 675.
Solihull Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt said: “We want the best, not second best for our mothers in Solihull. I will fight these proposals tooth and nail. It isn’t the thin end of the wedge - this is the wedge”
Mrs Burt is to table an Early Day Motion in Parliament on the issue and has asked for an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Burnham.
Solihull Conservative parliamentary candidate Maggie Throup, said: “We need to make sure Solihull mums can still have their babies in Solihull. I’m very concerned about any prospect of downgrading our services.”
A spokeswoman for Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, stated there were no plans to close the maternity unit and added that the trust was just changing the service to a midwifery-led one.
The trust says the decision was made because of new national guidance on standards for delivering a safe maternity service.