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Risking lives

I FEEL compelled to write to you to express my views of your front page article regarding maternity services dated January 15.

I FEEL compelled to write to you to express my views of your front page article regarding maternity services dated January 15. Not only has David Irwin not reflected a balanced view, the approach he has taken, if successful, will have serious and life threatening implications to new-born babies in the Solihull area.

You have not once mentioned the continued risks associated with maternity care at Solihull hospital and you have not informed the public of the facts. I suspect that none of the mothers featured in your article (in favour of keeping Solihull’s current maternity services) had a brain damaged child due to a difficult birth and therefore their view is biased.

It is a disgrace that you have ‘blamed’ Dr Mark Goldman, when in fact he is actively taking action to address issues of safety. Let me give you some insight as to the current position.

At present, where a problem occurs at birth at Solihull there is NO paediatrician regularly available during weekdays to take care of the distressed baby. The ‘ON CALL’ paediatrician is most likely to be located at Heartlands hospital and therefore has a minimum journey of 25 minutes to provide assistance to a life-threatened newborn baby. Government guidelines state a baby in distress must be seen by a paediatrician within 10 minutes. Therefore Solihull is already failing these babies.

You have not quoted the death of babies at Solihull due to current inadequate services nor have you made reference to the more common outcome where babies are born in distress and need to be resuscitated and ventilated immediately, the absence of which resulting more often in brain damage.

You have also not made the public aware that ITU trained nurses from Heartlands have to leave babies in intensive care at Heartlands to travel to Solihull in cases of an emergency which means the NHS is also failing those desperately ill babies.

Your assassination of Dr Goldman is appalling. I do not know this man personally but I do know that he is doing all he can to provide the best possible care. You should instead be directing the blame toward the government and its funding of the NHS.

Given the restrictions in funding which Dr Goldman can do little about, which option below for expectant mothers in Solihull and surrounding areas do you believe is best?

1) Have a Solihull maternity facility where newborn babies with distress are not able to receive the appropriate care in time.

2) All births being transferred to surrounding hospitals where distressed babies have immediate care and greater chance of survival with a lesser risk of brain damage.

Mrs Leigh Dumighan (mother)



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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