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Chief’s pledge on consultation

SOLIHULL’S health trust boss has assured campaigners that a consultation period to discuss plans to downgrade maternity services at Solihull will be ‘open to debate’.

SOLIHULL’S health trust boss has assured campaigners that a consultation period to discuss plans to downgrade maternity services at Solihull will be ‘open to debate’.

Mark Goldman, chief executive of the Heart of England Foundation Trust, was speaking after supporters of a rally held in Mell Square marched to the hospital to hand over a letter asking for the Trust to re-consider proposals to remove ‘high risk’ births from Solihull Hospital from next year.

Dr Goldman said the hospital’s ‘unique’ model in obstetric care no longer met new national guidelines regarding maternity safety despite a ‘very good track’ record.

“With the best will in the world we can’t get a paediatrician from Heartlands to Solihull in 10 minutes,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that if a paediatrician is required, they will get there in the fastest possible time. We also make it explicitly clear to every mum what is here and what is not here.”

He also insisted that the Trust was not trying to ‘finesse’ proposals ‘through the back door’.”

“I think all the professionals have expressed different reservations and are enthusiastic about going in to the consultation period. One option would be to put back full paediatric services and another is to absolutely restrict it to a midwifery unit so only low risk mums would be admitted.

“We have worked so hard to sustain the services here and I think people would accept that we have a responsibility.”

The Trust said the 14 week consultation period would be led by clinicians, midwives and consultants and not by management.

 

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