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Trowbridge maternity unit chosen for closure

January 17, 2020 4:22 PM
By Ellen Nicholson

In response the decision by Wiltshire CCG to close Trowbridge's maternity unit, South West Wiltshire's Parliamentary candidate Ellen Nicholson said "It's very disappointing that the Trowbridge maternity unit in the County town of Wiltshire has been selected by @NHSWiltshireCCG for closure whilst Chippenham, which has seen fewer births and is predicted to receive fewer births than Trowbridge in the coming years, is retained".

"The consultation and residents opinions have been at best noted, at worst disregarded. More labouring women will now have to make the journeys to Salisbury and Bath. Bath in particular is known for its grid locked traffic, which may cause women to make the journey earlier in their labour. Research in 2016 highlighted that a comprehensive analysis of maternity service risk must also consider the avoidable clinical risks that arise from the closure of rural services, such as family distress and costs of transport to a regional centre, often not taken into account in consultations. https://www.midwiferyjournal.com/article/S0266-6138(16)30009-2/pdf

Wiltshire CCG state their proposal allows opportunity to provide more choice for more women across the area about where and how they are supported before, during and after the birth of their baby, and more pertinently allows Wiltshire CCG to make more efficient use of resources and workforce. Figures released in August 2019 by the Royal College of Midwives show a national midwife shortage continues to impact with around 2500 midwives short in England. https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/rcm-opinion/2019/england-short-of-almost-2-500-midwives-new-birth-figures-confirm/

As Wiltshire CCG amalgamates with Bath and Swindon in April 2020, we need to be watchful that more services are not moved under the guise of 'working at scale" and whether well documented local and nation staff shortages impact patient safety and service delivery. Trends in maternity figures - Wiltshire ()