IS the general public aware that although we have been led to believe by the press that discussions are underway, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) has already started to plan the move on the Solihull maternity services to be effective from April 2010? This is regardless of the furore and sentiments expressed by the public and local councillors.
Arrangements are already underway to make room for more deliveries at Heartlands Hospital by planning to move all the Gynaecology ward patients into the surgical wing in the main building. By doing this, the Princess of Wales Unit becomes a much larger dedicated maternity wing, thereby not only freeing up more beds and operating theatres but also staff. Similarly Good Hope Hospital is also gearing up for more deliveries. Solihull midwifery staff have already been told that they have to be prepared to work at either Heartlands or Good Hope.
HEFT is already conducting courses for midwives to promote natural childbirth with minimum monitoring or intervention. In the new midwifery unit at Solihull there will be no input from any obstetrician or anaesthetists.
This is all well and good for the majority of low risk pregnant women, but not all goes smoothly even for low risk labours and in 2008 there were 478 emergencies at Solihull Hospital.
The new midwifery unit is thought to be going to deal with only 500 deliveries per year, so assuming the same rate of developing complications (approximately 18 per cent) approximately 90 women would need some type of operation or medical intervention beyond the scope of midwives. Currently these all happen routinely at Solihull Hospital but will not after April 2010, if HEFT get their own way.
Can you imagine transporting 90 pregnant women in trouble across to Heartlands or Good Hope for urgent delivery, thereby putting both mother and baby at risk?
Just because the HEFT is in financial trouble after amalgamating with Good Hope, they are now trying to cut costs by downgrading the Solihull maternity services, thereby putting all the Solihull pregnant women at risk.
Anonymous (whistle blowers lose jobs)