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SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE
 

Star date: 1st December 2010 

THERE'S STILL HOPE !!!!

Campaigners trying to keep Hope Maternity Unit open were relieved today when the decision to close Salford's baby unit was deferred until January or February.

The North West NHS Board decided to delay their decision to close the unit
after concerns were raised over capacity and safety issues.

"It's a stay of execution" says Jeanne Lythgoe of the Salford Maternity Forum "We fight on!"

Full details here…


SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE
SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE SALFORD BABY UNIT REPRIEVE
click image to enlarge

"The problem is that there's no room at the inn...Where will those women go? What will happen when those units are full and the women of Salford need to have a baby? We haven't had answers to those questions." Jeanne Lythgoe, Salford Maternity Forum

They came out in the early morning Manchester snow – mums with babies, midwives, community activists and concerned residents. They brought huge banners, placards and logical arguments in favour of keeping Hope's Maternity Unit open.

After originally banning the public from the decision meeting, the NHS North West Board agreed to not only allow campaigners into their meeting as observers, but also to let campaign members make a presentation.

Sarah Davies, a midwife and Salford mum, gave a passionate plea for keeping Hope Baby Unit open saying "it would be an unforgiveable crime" if the board voted to close it, "robbing Salford people of their heritage".

She argued that there were concerns over objectivity of the NCAT Report that endorsed the closure of Hope, that the review process had been "biased from the start", and that views from the Salford Maternity Forum hadn't been listened to throughout that process.

She added that the four tests set by the Government in order to approve the closure (see here) hadn't been met, particularly relating to clinical evidence, given the rising birth rate and possible lack of beds for women to give birth.

Sarah was followed by Samantha, a new Salford mum, who spoke of the "unparalleled care and support" she received at Hope… "It fills me with disgust and despair for the next time I give birth if Hope isn't here" she said "Why has Salford's community not got a choice? There is an absolute need and necessity for this unit in our area."

The NHS Chairman agreed that there were concerns over capacity information which he said was a "blockage in the road…before we can fully press the button". And he agreed, with the Board, to defer the decision pending more information until the next meeting.

"It's not what we wanted, but it's a stay of execution, another opportunity" says Jeanne Lythgoe of the Salford Maternity Forum "I think it was more comfortable for them not to have to make a decision today. But it's good that they're recognising that there may be issues around capacity."

"The problem is that there's no room at the inn" she adds "If that's the case with all the units open, we would have to question what would happen if they shut Salford, which is the biggest of the units they want to close. Where will those women go? What will happen when those units are full and the women of Salford need to have a baby? We haven't had answers to those questions."

The same concerns were raised by Salford's doctors…

"As far as we are aware that information hasn't been passed to them" says Avril Tomlinson of the Salford Maternity Forum and a retired midwife "We've also asked for the information under Freedom of Information and we haven't received it yet either.

"So now, we fight on" she adds "We've been given another opportunity to continue to work with the people of Salford and try to achieve our aim - which is the safety of mothers and babies across the whole of Greater Manchester,  and in particular, Salford. I think people should continue dogging their doctor…"

Don't let NHS North West "fully press the button" to shut Hope Maternity Unit!

Keep dogging your doctor (click here), sign the petition (click here) and make sure that at the next Board meeting in January or February there are hundreds more Salfordians just saying `NO!'…

See previous features here and here

 

Joseph McGarraghy wrote
at 09:48:56 on 02 December 2010
Well done friends. My photo report can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/asisawit/ The Set Here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/asisawit/sets/72157625507434590/ It should shortly be also seen here: http://www.citizenside.com/en/photos-videos/20101/hot-topics.html
 
Heather wrote
at 05:20:09 on 02 December 2010
fantastic news and just goes to show how communities can have an effect if they work together. Still lots of work to do but maybe now more people will join us. Thanks Stephen for keeping Salford aware of this.
 
harrylivesey wrote
at 20:16:58 on 01 December 2010
common sense at last next protest in the city of salford at salford quays or salford lads club a salford protest with the people of salford
 
Babs wrote
at 19:04:31 on 01 December 2010
I must say the heat was tropical, the marble bathrooms sublime, the lounge seating divine, and the complimentary drinks a welcome distraction from the snowfall outside. No im not talking about my stay at the ritz, it was the Nhs hq where major decisions are made about closing and cutting services.
 
Allison wrote
at 19:04:10 on 01 December 2010
A few years ago I visited Dominican Republic,which is deemed as a developing/third world country.All villages had their own health clinics,some with beds. Women had to travel to the capital to give birth or other large cities.It was the countrys ambition to provide some local maternity provision. How ironic that the UK is going backwards and classing closure and ceassation of essential services as "making it better" We may be working class but were certainly not thick and we can recognise stupidity no matter how much it is wrapped up in big words and white paper. The childrens hospital was closed without a murmur. I trained there many years ago and was saddened to see patients from cheshire, chester and north wales.Some of these kids went days without a visitor, not because their families didnt care, but because they simply could not travel every day especially if they did not have a car or other children to contend with. The same scenario will happen to mothers and babies of Salford. You could choose a home birth, with the legally required 2 midwives in attendance, however with the current cuts and national shortage of midwives how much longer will women have this choice?
 
jim devine wrote
at 19:03:31 on 01 December 2010
Brilliant point Debs......
 
Debs wrote
at 17:10:32 on 01 December 2010
The weather today, shows just how much a pregnant woman may get caught out if she had to travel further afield than Salfords Maternity Unit, a mother or childs life or even both could be lost, just because of the adverse weather conditions. A 10 minute journey could turn into hours, if they had to travel to South Manchester, to deliver their baby. Most of my family were born in Hope and are proud to be Salfordians, none of my children, want to have their children born in Manchester or else where, they want to have them born in hope. PLEASE KEEP HOPE MATERNITY OPEN
 
dave morrison wrote
at 17:10:27 on 01 December 2010
I was at this meeting , and to see mothers and babies coming out in the cold and the snow shows the depth of feeling in salford. its a stay of execution not a reprive we must fight on.I urge you to "dog your doctor" and tell them how important this is, put pressure on them to voice an opinion. the keep hope maternity forum has workable alternatives to the "making it better" proposal. If salford is to survive as a city it needs a maternity unit.
 
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