LEADING campaigner Maggie Throup is planning a rally for September to fight plans to downgrade Solihull Hospital’s maternity unit.
Under new guidelines, as of 2010 maternity services at Solihull Hospital will be reduced to a midwife-led unit, which means there will be no consultant cover. “While people know a lot about our campaign many do not fully understand the long-term consequences of this change,” said Ms Throup.
She added: “There will not be a consultant available should there be any last-minute complications and I have heard from countless mums who had perfectly normal pregnancies and then suddenly experienced complications.
“First-time mums will never be able to go to Solihull Hospital and Heartlands won’t be able to cope with up to 2,000 additional births, as they are already diverting people to Solihull and birth rates are rising.
“As there won’t be enough work for anaesthesists in Solihull either, we will be losing that sort of cover as well and the entire hospital could be downgraded. It’s like a three-legged stool. Take away one leg and the whole thing begins to collapse.”
While it is undisputed that a familiar midwife environment is favourable for the mothers, having no consultant cover can pose a great danger to both mother and child. “Why can’t we have both?” Ms Throup asked. “Why not have midwives, paediatric and obstetric services in the same place? A pregnancy is one of the most natural things to occur after all.
“We will carry on fighting and we will continue to campaign. Hopefully the NHS Trust will soon find out that their solution is not the answer.”