Beds, Herts & Bucks

Midwife-led unit to close over staff shortage

A hospital in Buckinghamshire will close its midwife-led unit (MLU) for three months over concerns about staff shortages.

Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust had warned in June that staff vacancies, annual leave and maternity leave will affect Wycombe Hospital from 1 August.

It will temporarily close the unit and transfer to Aylesbury Birth Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The closure is the "safest and least disruptive" solution, the trust said.

Women booked to deliver at Wycombe Birth Centre during the period of temporary closure have already been contacted to discuss the matter, it added.

They have been offered advice about their forthcoming labour, as well as an opportunity to visit the Aylesbury Birth Centre.

The trust said women will still be able to access maternity support services from Wycombe Hospital, including the antenatal service and breastfeeding clinics.

"We are committed to the Wycombe Birth Centre and would like to reassure our patients and the public that there are firm plans in place to ensure the unit is reopened by November at the latest," the trust added.

"An additional 17 midwives are being recruited and will be joining the trust in October."

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