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Midlands trust suspends services at two maternity units

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A trust in the Midlands has temporarily closed one of its midwife-led maternity units and suspended services at another facility.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust made the changes on 17 October. All services have been suspended at Ludlow Community Hospital until further notice, and services at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital unit are expected to be disrupted for two weeks.

“We are seeking to minimise the disruption caused”

Sarah Jamieson

The trust said its Ludlow unit, which was heavily criticised following the death of baby Kate Stanton-Davies in 2009, has been closed due to “concerns over the condition of the building”.

The Royal Shrewsbury unit is undergoing maintenance work that leaves it without hand washing facilities, hot water and heating. The trust has suspended services that require these facilities including labour, birthing and postnatal care.

However, some services will be maintained without them: maternity and paediatric outpatient services, maternity day assessment units, and maternity scanning. The trust said alternative provisions for staff hand washing are in place.

Sarah Jamieson, head of midwifery at the trust, said all women booked in for the Royal Shrewsbury unit have been given the choice of giving birth at a consultant or midwife led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

“We are seeking to minimise the disruption caused, and while the essential works are estimated to last a fortnight, all options are being explored to get the services restored earlier,” she said.

Patients due to receive care at Ludlow have been notified of their options and given the relevant numbers to call.

Trust chief executive Simon Wright said: “I have requested a number of reports including a structures survey to be conducted in to the condition of the [Ludlow] building. No further decisions about when services will resume will be made until the findings of those reports are returned and evaluated.

“[The trust] is looking to find an alternative area locally to house our antenatal services,” he added.

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