Mums unite to stop Furness General Hospital maternity cuts
Last updated at 16:23, Thursday, 23 August 2012
MUMS have launched a campaign to stop Furness General Hospital’s maternity unit being downgraded.
Maternity services at the Barrow hospital could change from being consultant-led to midwife-led, dealing only with routine births, as the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust is reviewing all its services.
Between them, Rachael Kent, Mandy Telford and Amanda Stephens will have had eight children at FGH once Miss Kent, who is 20 weeks pregnant, gives birth.
Miss Kent has gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, and sees a consultant every fortnight.
And, the 31-year-old of Delhi Street, Walney, said: “My first child fell asleep when he was being born – at which point a consultant had to be called in.
“My second pooped as she was being born and again, the consultant was there. Then my third, there was a high chance the cord was going to prolapse (where the cord comes first, cutting off blood and oxygen to the fetus) – if I’d had to be sent to Lancaster and my waters had broken on the way, we both could’ve died.”
Ms Telford agrees women facing the most complicated of pregnancies and births should not face hour-long journeys.
The 36-year-old gave birth to Molly, her second child with husband, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, three months ago.
Molly spent a week in FGH’s Special Care Baby Unit with an infection. Ms Telford said: “The moment we noticed something wasn’t right, the consultant was there. Everything kicked in and everything was right where we needed it.”
The mums’ campaign began with their “Save FGH Maternity Unit” Facebook group – which attracted 900 people overnight.
They have set up an e-petition on the HM Government website, calling on the coalition to step in and guarantee the future of the consultant-led unit.
Ms Telford said: “We understand there has to be re-organisation of the NHS and there’s not enough money, but ultimately, to downgrade our unit would be to put women at risk – simply because of where we are geographically.
“Women deserve the safety of having everything they need at their local hospital.”
UHMBT chief executive, Jackie Daniel, said: “We fully understand that members of the community are passionate about their local hospital, and we share this passion.
“The key part of these reviews is ensuring that the public, GPs and other stakeholders are involved and informed at all stages. These are your hospitals so it is only right that you are involved throughout.”
First published at 16:12, Thursday, 23 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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