Changes to Lincolnshire maternity care considered

Boston Pilgrim Hospital
Image caption A full range of midwifery services are available at both Lincoln County Hospital and Boston's Pilgrim Hospital (pictured)

A major shake-up of maternity services in Lincolnshire is being considered, hospital bosses have confirmed.

Commissioners said two options are being looked at on how care is delivered in Lincoln and Boston.

One involves having specialist consultants on one site, the other, a modified two site service, possibly with a single shared team.

Campaigners in Boston have called for the public to be involved in any decision.

'Not about saving money'

Chief Executive of United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust Jan Sobieraj said nothing had been decided about where a centralised service would be based, if it happened.

He stressed the plans were not about saving money, but how resources could be best used to care for women needing specialist treatment during pregnancy.

Mr Sobieraj said there had already been some successes where a central specialist service had been introduced.

"Ten years ago if you said life expectancy would improve on the east coast by removing local services for cardiac care, and moving it to Lincoln... people would have questioned that," he said.

"But, that is exactly what happened."

Years to implement

He added that any changes could take years to implement and the public would be engaged in the whole process.

The proposals were discussed at a meeting on Wednesday with campaigners, the Boston Focus Group.

Its chair, Phillip Bosworth, said he hoped the public would be fully consulted.

"People in this area won't want to be travelling 50 miles on a cold winter's night in the snow when they are having difficulty in labour," he added.

Plans to introduce more community midwives are also being considered.

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