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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Barrow mums lend their voices to FGH maternity unit battle

A MASS campaign launched yesterday to protect Furness General Hospital’s maternity services.

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MISSION: Carly Dacre, Laura Reid with daughter Charlotte Reid, Mandy Telford with daughter Molly Woodcock, Catherine Reay, and Sarah Woodall outside FGH ahead of the Thousand Voices campaign launch HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50042935B000

The Families for FGH Thousand Voices movement has been set up by parents who fear Barrow’s birthing unit could be downgraded from being consultant-led to midwifery-led, dealing with only the most routine births.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, is reviewing all its services and will launch a public consultation this year.

The Thousand Voices campaign aims to get mums and dads to record videos showing their support for Barrow’s maternity unit, to be featured on YouTube.

Barrow mums Rachael Kent, Amanda Stephens and Mandy Telford came up with the idea in August.

Since then, Miss Kent said, her belief in the cause has only been further solidified.

The 32-year-old, of Delhi Street, Walney, needed consultant care during the births of all her four children including her son, Adam, born last Saturday.

She said: “When you’ve got a 12 pound baby, it’s never going to be simple.

“There were a few points when we thought I was going to have to have an emergency caesarean section but luckily, because of consultants working with the midwives, we got through it.”

Millom mum Heather Hill has also backed the campaign.

She said she FGH’s maternity unit provides an ‘essential’ service.

She said: “FGH serves thousands of people who would otherwise have to go to either Whitehaven or Lancaster – a considerable journey.

“Having had both my boys there, and living in Millom, I would not consider using any other hospital. I worked at the general office at the hospital for six years and I still know some of the midwives and nurses working there and know how dedicated and hardworking they are.’’

The mums are being backed by Ms Telford’s husband, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, who hit Barrow town centre today to hand out fliers and record videos.

He said: “If we can get enough people to get involved and get their voices heard, it could be really powerful. It’s a really effective way of bringing human stories to life in a way you can’t really do with just a list of names.”

The campaign is already attracting huge support from women pledging to share their stories including Barrow mum, Kerry Wardle.

The 31-year-old, of Beacon Crescent, gave birth to her first child, Eloise Grace, on New Year’s Eve.

She said: “The baby was in a little bit of distress but the midwives and the doctors were fabulous.

“I was under consultant care and knowing you’ve got that support there whenever you need them, just five minutes up the road, is incredibly important.”

Sir David Henshaw, Chairman of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “The important changes that need to take place are being led by your local doctors and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

“As a result of the changes introduced last year by the government, from April 2013, it is the CCGs who will be deciding on which services to purchase and who will be providing them.

“As a Trust, we are absolutely committed to working with them to deliver the high standards of care our public rightly demands and deserves, within the resources available to us.

“Despite what has been reported, no decisions about how services may change or be developed have been made, but discussions about how services could be designed and operate and what people want and value most about health services, will help shape these decisions over the next few months.

“Once these conversations and events have been had and people’s views heard, a set of options will be developed which everyone will be invited to comment on.’’

Those who want to take part in the petition are being asked to film a short clip on their camera or phone and send it SaveFGHMaternity@gmail.com.

Anyone who struggles with technology can call 07502 423 605 or visit the Labour party office in Barrow’s Hartington Street. One of the campaign team will film their video.

To see the videos recorded so far, visit www.youtube.com/SaveFGHMaternity.

Have your say

i am a mum of 5 children ( 4 of which were born at Fgh) and have unfortunately had 5 miscarriages and a stilbirth, i also have a wonderful grandson born 10 prem who i have Fgh to thank for.As my first child was stilborn i have had consultant care for all of my pregnancies and the resurrance that came with that i can never thank Fgh and the consultants enough. Money should never be put above the price of safety and reassurance.

Posted by jacqueline hughes on 11 January 2013 at 17:57

Well Done Ladies it is good to see someone out there fighting for the future of FGH Maternity instead of just letting it be trampled into the dirt.

Posted by MarkMc on 7 January 2013 at 16:33

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