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Trust welcomes formal consultation on Berwick maternity

Friday, 11 July, 2014
Trust welcomes formal consultation on Berwick maternity

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has today welcomed the decision from commissioners NHS North of Tyne to carry out formal public consultation on the provision of a safe and sustainable future maternity service for Berwick.

Northumbria Healthcare provides one of the safest maternity services of any Trust in England and is one of only nine organisations across the entire country to achieve the highest possible safety rating (CNST Level 3) for the quality of its maternity care since 2010. 

It was because of the Trust’s extremely high safety standards for maternity care that safety concerns were identified in Berwick with some services temporarily suspended pending a full safety review.

Mr David Evans, Medical Director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said:  “We are very proud of our strong safety record for maternity care and are fully committed to providing safe, round the clock maternity care for all the communities we serve – we made this very clear when we published our safety review for Berwick.

“We welcome today’s decision to start formal consultation on the two possible future options put forward and will now work closely with NHS North of Tyne to have an open dialogue with people in Berwick and fully involve them in shaping a safe, future maternity service for the town.” 

People in Berwick are being reminded that the maternity unit remains open seven days a week for all antenatal, postnatal and consultant-led clinics as follows:

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm – for all antenatal clinics, bookings and consultant-led clinics, postnatal drop-in and parent craft sessions.
  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 2.30pm – for all community midwifery services including rural clinics.

This is to provide all of the usual support for expectant mothers such as routine antenatal bookings and care for both low risk and high risk pregnancy.

Northumbria Healthcare is also continuing to provide community midwifery support during the times above with midwives visiting patients at home and has committed to supporting any women who wish to have a home birth during this interim period by working with its other community midwifery teams to deliver this service where necessary.

During this interim period, any expectant mothers who require medical assistance or advice outside of normal working hours can seek help by calling the Trust’s team of midwives in Wansbeck on 01670 564194 – this number is available 24 hours a day.

Mr David Evans added:  “Although the consultation for Berwick is a positive step forward, we do also appreciate the immediate concerns for those who may be due to deliver in the coming winter months and I would urge Berwick women to talk to their midwives about their birthing options during this interim period.”