I find it very disappointing that after all that has been said and done locally, these health bosses seem set to divert mums from home all the way to Hastings.
We have a Secretary of State’s ruling that both Eastbourne and Hastings need consultant-led maternity services – down to East Sussex Health Trust to deliver this. The Trust needs to make public full information on its failed efforts to retain or recruit staff.
I may not have clinical expertise but as a mum who was admitted to the DGH I do have personal experience. I had no underlying medical conditions, no history of complications and an event free pregnancy, and I seemed all set for a midwife-led delivery, however, birth is not so predictable, and in my case, the consultant had to intervene in order to lead an emergency delivery. My point: the consultant was on hand, and not on the end of a telephone in Hastings.
Midwife-led units are designed to offer additional choice to mums, in other words, ‘as well as’ not ‘instead of’ consultant-led units. Looking at other MLUs around the country, they talk of swift access to consultant services: ‘downstairs’, ‘along the hall’, ‘adjacent’ ‘same wing’ ‘same floor’. Hastings, at over twenty miles, is just too far. I personally find these proposals deeply worrying.