Shropshire

Births to stop at three rural maternity units in Shropshire

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Women will not be able to give birth at three maternity units in Shropshire in a planned shake up of services.

Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry would be affected under proposals by Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The units will be revamped to offer other maternity services.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said 97.3% of its women give birth at units in Shrewsbury and Telford or at home.

The announcement follows a major review of services by the CCGs who said the proposed new model "improves" services for women.

Under the plans, women would be able to give birth at the consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital and at the midwife-led unit on the hospital site, as well as a midwife-led unit in Shrewsbury and at home.

There would instead be maternity hubs at Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry, as well as at Shrewsbury and Telford, to "ensure women across the county have equal access to a wide range of related maternity services close to home".

The three rural maternity units were closed for six months in July due to staff sickness and a drop in the number of midwives prepared to work overtime.

Dr Jess Sokolov, Shropshire CCG's clinical lead for the midwifery-led services review, said: "This model also has an increased focus in ensuring that it cares for both the physical and emotional wellbeing of becoming a mum - something that women said wasn't good enough in existing services."

The plans will be presented to the governing bodies of Shropshire and Telford's CCGs over the next two months ahead of a consultation.

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