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THE END FOR SALFORD BABIES
 

Star date: 1st February 2011 

PROTEST AGAINST THE CLOSURE OF HOPE MATERNITY UNIT
Wednesday 2nd February 2011
Meet 9am outside Piccadilly Train Station (top of the ramp)
Bring placards, banners and babies!!!

"Now we see starkly that the consultation was a sham, and the closures a foregone conclusion" Keep Hope Maternity Open campaign

The final decision on the fate of Hope Maternity Unit takes place tomorrow at the NHS HQ near Piccadilly Station. It looks to be a foregone conclusion that they will shut the Unit, despite all the evidence to keep it open. Staff at Hope have even been given the date of the closure before the decision has formally been made.

But Salford people aren't giving up the city's maternity unit without a fight.

Full details here…


HOPE SPRINGS MATERNAL

It's been a long fight – 50,000 signatures on the petition to keep Hope Maternity open…loads of rallies, marches and meetings…and lots of dirty dealings. But it now looks like the end for a full time maternity unit at Hope. The NHS Board are being recommended at tomorrow's meeting to endorse the closure, and replace the full time Hope Maternity Unit with a much smaller Midwife Led Unit which will cater for only a fraction of the current births in Salford.

Salford's doctors could have put up a fight against the closure, given that the government is determined to give them more power. But they didn't. Indeed, eminent doctors are lining up to back the closure. The Keep Hope Maternity Open campaign has issued its own response…

"These doctors clearly dislike being challenged, and, it seems, are not interested in the abundant research evidence that larger maternity units are not in fact safer for mothers and babies. Instead, they are 'fed up with the delays caused by protests and political interference'. 

"What they label 'political interference' we call legitimate democratic process; and the days of "doctor knows best" are supposedly long gone. We have a democratic right to protest and to question decisions that will affect our lives and our health. Likewise elected MPs have a duty to represent their constituents. It would perhaps have been better had these doctors actually deigned to meet their critics to discuss the issues - as we invited them to do. 

"'Making it Better' was possibly the biggest and most expensive consultation in the UK, and most lay people were opposed to the closure of their unit - thousands and thousands of them - but all of it made no difference to the planners. And they proudly call this a 'bottom up' consultation! Now we see starkly that the consultation was a sham, and the closures a foregone conclusion."

Meanwhile, the new `baby factories' that are to replace Hope are having their own problems finding staff. And there are serious worries that new units will not be able to cope. We understand that Salford has spent £250,000 on locum neonatal doctors in the last ten months because there are not enough juniors. Oldham, which should be having the new neonatal level 3 unit, hasn't yet appointed any neonatal consultants. Bolton interviewed for five neonatal consultants recently and only appointed two because there were not enough candidates for the jobs. If they can't deliver the staff how can they save these babies lives?

What we do know is that one local mum is seeking a judicial review around the closure, and when the decision to close Hope is ratified tomorrow, as expected, this will be the next legal avenue to save Salford's maternity unit.

In the meantime the Keep Hope Maternity Open campaign is urging everyone to turn out tomorrow and show our disgust at this unfair decision.

Protestors are meeting at 9-9:30am at the top of the ramp outside Piccadilly Train station, and are then walking across the footbridge to the NHS HQ to make their feelings known.

For the background to the fight to Keep Hope maternity Unit Open see here and here and here and www.keephopematernityopen.com

UPDATE HERE 2nd Feb 2011

A Claxton wrote
at 21:39:20 on 08 February 2011
I call on all the young Salford girls having babes and planning babes to demand that their baby is born in Salford, don’t stand any messing from your Doctor or mid-wife demand it.
 
david morrison wrote
at 20:39:15 on 02 February 2011
I would sooner have pendlebury and hope maternity. having used the services at both hospitals for my children, I agree the closing of pendlebury was a disgrace. its replacement was a panda unit at hope.and it was probably used as a bargaining chip for salford maternity services,all that is irrelevant now as we will lose the maternity as well,leaving salford including swinton eccles and irlam with a midwifery lead unit and the panda unit for children. both unsatisfactory for a city the size of salford.
 
Brian F Krkham wrote
at 21:04:25 on 01 February 2011
Whilst I find the current arrangements dispicable, I have to ask Mr Morrison this..where were the voices of discontent when RMCH was taken over by Central Manchester Trust? From what i read in your own comment, Pendlebury was a bargaining chip in keeping a Maternity at Hope...A Wrong Move IMHO. It should NEVER have been handed over to Central Manchester - who only had the St Mary's Site in Mind for the new Hospital. Of course, this only reinforces a view i've held for a long time - It's IN Salford when it suits, otherwise Swinton, Worsley, Eccles and Irlam - you like the idea of being in Manchester! Hope should have both a childrens ward and maternity ward for the community it serves and that means all of Salford.
 
dave morrison wrote
at 19:08:09 on 01 February 2011
in every way this decision is wrong. salford will die as a city and become a district of manchester. 50,000 salford people signed the petition against this. the first consultation said salford should stay, so they had a second consultation with loaded questions and this decided salford should close. pendlebury childrens hospital was closed and relocated to manchester on the understanding that maternity services would remain in salford. the lead clinicians on the "making it better" review are from the hospitals that will benefit from the reorganisation. so much for an open democratic process. this is empire building playing with the lives of salford mothers and babies. the government said they would stop the closure of maternity units prior to there election. lets see if they can keep a promise. salford royal is a top ten rated maternity hospital . so we go from that to a midwifery lead unit with around 500 births (only for the healthiest women) as opposed to 4500 now, everyone should try and attend this meeting . if you want salford to survive as a city in its own right. remember babies or mothers or possibly both will die in salford because of these closures.
 
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