Doctor: Grantham Hospital can’t justify an obstetrics unit

Grantham Hospital Maternity Unit.

Grantham Hospital Maternity Unit.

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A doctor today defended the decision to close Grantham’s midwifery unit rather than look to expand services there.

When asked why Grantham Hospital cannot have a fully functioning obstetrics unit so expectant mothers would have the confidence to give birth at Grantham, Dr Simon Glencross of Belvoir Vale Surgery in Bottesford said: “That’s never going to happen because we would never get support from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists to do that.”

When asked why the Royal College would not support such a move, Dr Glencross said: “You cannot just have an obstetrician there. You would need to have a team of obstetricians providing 24-hour cover which means four or five obstetricians.

“Then you would need to have the same number of paediatricians. Then you would need to have a specialist care baby unit and a team of four or five anaesthetists. You need all of these people.

“You cannot have a small obstetrics unit - you have to have a large one or none at all - because then the numbers don’t make sense because even if all the women in Grantham chose to use that unit there would still not be enough to keep it open.”

Dr Glencross said he expects to see the number of people in the area opting for home-births to increase.

He said: “Most deliveries are straightforward and so will occur in a midwife-led unit.

“I think we are going to see a lot more home-births in our area, which is fine.”