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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Day-long wait for information on Barrow maternity crisis

THE public has spent today facing an agonising wait for information on the ongoing crisis surrounding maternity services in Barrow.

Managers at Furness General hospital said this morning that they would release more information this afternoon, having originally promised an update on the situation between 9am and 10am today.

Hospital bosses last night denied that the temporary move of the Special Care Baby Unit and consultant lead maternity service to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, as of 9am today, had been delayed.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said it would be spending this morning in meetings with GP commissioners and the wider NHS, to come to a solution to the staffing crisis at FGH.

Further information was originally expected between 9am and 10am. The trust then said a statement would be issued at around 12.30pm. It is still not able to say at this point whether the move went ahead as of 9am as planned. 

This afternoon, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, said he had been told the issue had been escalated to the control of regional body, the North West Strategic Health Authority.

An SHA spokeswoman told the Evening Mail this afternoon that no further announcements would be made today, and an update on the situation would be released tomorrow.

Last night, the Evening Mail had been led to believe that the move had been delayed due to a shortage of ambulances.

However a spokesman for UHMBT later said that, following a meeting, the trust board had seen no evidence of a solution to the staffing crisis and the move was to go ahead.

Earlier in the evening, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, told the Evening Mail an extra ambulance is needed to serve Furness General Hospital for the duration of the temporary move, caused by a staffing crisis.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, announced on Thursday that Barrow's maternity unit will be midwifery-led from 9am today, with all non-routine births transferred to its Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Mr Woodcock yesterday said he had spoken with the North West Ambulance Service today about the situation.

He said: "They have assessed that there's a need for an additional ambulance for Barrow to cover the trust's estimate of the increased demand that the transfer will place on the service.

"They've explained to me the process, which is that the trust is to come forward to them with an estimate of their demands, and they've estimated around two a day, and the ambulance service says 'Two a day, ok, we need an extra ambulance'.

"They're trying to get one but, like everyone, they've only had since Wednesday evening.

"As of twenty minutes ago (4.30pm Monday), they had not been able to secure said extra ambulance."

Mr Woodcock raised this issue during a parliamentary debate this morning.

For the full report from his meeting with health minister, Dan Poulter, see tomorrow's Evening Mail.

Have your say

Too many managers on inflated salaries. NOT NEEDED OR WANTED IN OUR NHS.

Posted by too many chiefs on 5 February 2013 at 23:16

What about the other services that have gone in the last week and the cutting of frontline staff hours and numbers. Lancaster's management are doing everything they can to shut Furness General Hospital. You would not believe the differences in staffing with Lancaster getting the lion's share at the expense of Furness General.

Posted by its just the beginning on 5 February 2013 at 23:14

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