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Baby Blues

Plans to strip hospitals of maternity units | Uk News | News | Telegraph

Women in labour could face lengthy journeys by ambulance to distant specialist units under plans which would strip dozens of local hospitals of consultant-led maternity services....

Unusually, the health minister responsible for maternity services, Ivan Lewis, was not present at the report's launch.

Mr Lewis, the MP for Bury South, has been active in the campaign to save the maternity unit at Fairfield Hospital in his constituency....

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, demanded to know why Mr Lewis was unavailable for comment at the briefing to launch the report, Making it Better for Mother and Baby.

He said the Conservatives had repeatedly asked for clinical evidence to show the need for a reconfiguration of maternity services and the report failed to provide this.

"Government nationally seems to be saying that everything has got to change and smaller units have got to be shut down, while locally, Labour ministers say they don't believe it and it's not justified. There's a hypocrisy in that.

"These changes are being driven by financial deficits in the NHS and this kind of nimbyism displayed by health minister Ivan Lewis and Hazel Blears, the Labour Party chairman, is patronising to expectant mothers who want to access good maternity services within travelling distance...

The youngest Englishette had been born and swaddled within seven minutes of us arriving at our local Maternity unit - the first twinge was less than an hour before hand and by the time we had arranged a baby sitter and I had made a steak sandwich (rare) for myself it was a hectic drive. So I am rather biased in favour of local maternity units, instead of babies slurping out into the passenger footwell.


Rank hypocrisy those Government Ministers, who won't stand up to promote and defend unpopular policies and then go on the picket line to protest against them.

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