A new report by Councillor Rebecca Hanson based on international research suggests babies’ lives will be put at risk due to proposed changes to maternity services.
Local Councillor Rebecca Hanson and her team have reviewed a consultation on the National Health Service for West Cumbria and found it wanting.
Hanson said: “Our review findings give major causes for concern if the recommendations of the Success Regime consultation on the future of NHS services in Cumbria are implemented because the consultation is clearly designed to remove consultant-led obstetric care in Whitehaven. Furthermore, the proposals up for consultation have not had any risk assessment carried out as to potential outcomes should this be implemented”
Over 1200 women currently give birth in Whitehaven Cumbria UK each year. Under the planned changes 700 women per year will be expected to travel over an hour in labour to access their nearest obstetric care. There is no precedent for this in Europe, but Canadian studies show that women who are 1-2 hours from obstetric care have very poor birth outcomes compared with women who live closer to care.
Following her review, Hanson and her team produced a report in which they applied to West Cumbria the findings from international studies and it demonstrates through the recognized risk assessment process that it predicts horrific birth outcomes. She also concludes that birth outcomes are likely to be worse than these studies predict due to further unprecedented changes such as areas of urban deprivation being so far away from care.
Councillor Hanson said: “The Success Regime consultation has not quantified the risks associated with closing obstetric care. In answer to the consultation our report concludes that the consultation on downgrading obstetric, paediatric and emergency services must therefore be suspended.”
The report by Hanson and her team is also demanding that the Care Quality Commission changes its stance and should be acting in the process as an independent third party rather than trying to force through punitive changes.
Hanson went on to say: “There is considerable opposition to the proposals with local people feeling that Health chiefs are ignoring the birthing risks in order to force changes through in West Cumbria. There is no precedent for this in the developed world as previously only very small numbers of women living in rural areas have lived so far away. There is also no precedent for women in centres of urban deprivation living so far from care.”
Since its release on 18th November 2016 Hanson’s report is receiving considerable support from other Health Organisations not just locally but nationally.
Company Name: Cumbria Liberal Democrats
Contact Person: Cllr. Rebecca Hanson
Phone: +44 (0)7752 407153