Maternity unit blow for Welwyn Garden City hospital
BABIES will not be born at the QE2 Hospital from November this year after plans for a birthing unit were refused today (Thursday).
The East of England Strategic Health Authority panel’s review into having a freestanding Midwife-Led Maternity Unit (FMU) in WGC ruled there was not enough support from GPs for the ward.
Had the FMU proposal been accepted it would have provided midwife-led care for low risk women in the same way as a home birth just in the QE2’s premises.
However the report from the independent panel said although such a facility would extend women’s choice and promote normal birth, they had fears about safe staffing levels, as well as the preference of many women to have medical back-up available on-site, and of cost.
MP Grant Shapps, who led the Say Yes To Maternity campaign in the Welwyn Hatfield Times, said he was sad the “brave attempt” to convince Welwyn Hatfield doctors proved unsuccessful.
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He added “only one in five” backed the viability of the proposal.
The decision means maternity services at the QE2 will be moved across to the Lister Hospital, which is now home to a new (December 2010) mixed midwife-led/consultant unit for both high and low risk women, in November.
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