Births to End at Two Maternity Centres in South West England

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Maternity provision across North East Somerset, Bath and Wiltshire is under review.

NHS records show that only 6% of mothers give birth at Stand-alone Midwifery Units in Trowbridge, Paulton, Chippenham and Frome.

According to a proposal written by the NHS, The two units at Trowbridge and Paulton will be closed down for births. Antenatal and postnatal care will still be provided there. The birth centres at Chippenham and Frome will still be open.

The plan includes improving maternity care at Swindon, Wiltshire and Banes.

Two new Alongside Midwifery Units will also be added to Salisbury District Hospital and Royal United Hospital.

The Head of Nursing and Midwifery at Royal United Hospital, Sarah Merritt said, “85 percent of women give birth in one of the three Obstetric Units with fewer than 6 percent giving birth across our four Freestanding Midwifery Units in Chippenham, Trowbridge, Paulton and Frome.

“On average only one baby is delivered every two or three days in each of these units but they need to be staffed to support births 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

“Despite the financial pressures facing the NHS locally and nationally, we are not planning to reduce how much we spend on maternity services, nor are we proposing to reduce the amount of staff we have or to close any buildings.”

The proposal was created by the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Maternity System (LMS).

It was developed over the past two years and has now been put up for public consultation.

 

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