Has anyone else noticed how places like the maternity unit get closed by stealth?
We once had a full and properly-equipped maternity unit similar to Lincoln or Notts. The money was not there to run it, so it was decided to shut it.
After public uproar, it was downgraded to a midwifery-led unit. There was never a plan for this to succeed because, out of choice, most women about to give birth would go to Notts or Lincoln as a midwife-led unit does not have the full hospital equipment or expertise.
The NHS would have known a midwife unit would, therefore, be very underused and, after a couple of years, cite this as a reason for closure.
Given a choice, no-one will use a midwifery-led unit as opposed to a full hospital ward as you want to know the capability is there to look after you if anything goes wrong.
This is closure by stealth – the midwifery unit only delayed the inevitable.
Overall, this was a very poor show by the local NHS trust.
Money is the bottom line when service provision to the community should always been foremost. A case of the accountants deciding what is best for us again and giving an indicator of the health of the NHS nationwide.