The rally to save Salford's maternity unit has been called by Salford Maternity Forum which is a user group of mums and families trying to have an input into health services in Salford. Despite the Strategic Health Authority arguing that the decision to close Salford Royal's baby unit has gone too far down the line, the Forum believes, after a recent meeting with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, that it can be reversed.
Lansley explained that GPs had to be consulted and involved in any decision on the future of maternity services, and 80% of GPs that the Forum e-mailed have agreed that it would be best to keep services local.
"Everyone seems to be supportive of keeping the Salford Royal maternity services in Salford" says Heather Rawlinson, a midwife and Salford mum "We have the highest number of low birth weight babies in the area and it's just madness to close down our special care unit. We're also in an area with lots of deprivation where people haven't got cars so they need their health services nearby.
"An original report into the services said that a case couldn't be made for closing Salford's maternity unit but it was ignored and other consultants employed to do a another one" she adds "The whole change to the region's maternity services hasn't been costed well and work hasn't started yet on many projects so it's not too late to reverse the decision."
United legend Ryan Giggs is also backing the rally...
"I'm supporting the campaign to keep the maternity unit open 100 per cent" he says "My two children were both born at the hospital and it is something I feel very strongly about. My first child was born 10 weeks premature and had to be looked after in the special care baby unit. Salford is a city and it is really important for the identity of the city that babies can be born here."
The rally tomorrow will hopefully reinforce Salford's will to keep our babies being born in the city.
RALLY TO SAVE SALFORD'S MATERNITY UNIT
2pm Buile Hill Park, Eccles Old Road, Salford amd march to NHS headquarters at Pendleton.
There's an online petition which can be filled in via the website www.keephopematernityopen.com and there's also a facebook site, also available via the website.