Health service change on cards for women and kids

PUBLISHED: 13:57 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

A children's rapid assessment unit could be established at the QE2 in WGC

A children's rapid assessment unit could be established at the QE2 in WGC

BIG changes look set to be made to women s and children s services across the county. An integrated midwifery unit, costing £7million, will be built at Lister Hospital to serve east, south and north Hertfordshire. East and North Hertfordshire Trust is al

BIG changes look set to be made to women's and children's services across the county.

An integrated midwifery unit, costing £7million, will be built at Lister Hospital to serve east, south and north Hertfordshire.

East and North Hertfordshire Trust is also proposing to establish a single children's A&E and paediatric ambulatory unit at the Lister hospital and establish a children's rapid assessment clinic at the QEII.

The integrated midwifery unit will mean women in the east and south of the county will have to travel to Lister Hospital to have their babies but will be able to use ante- and post-natal services at Hertford County and QEII.

Nick Carver, the Trust's chief executive, said the integrated service would mean women would have more birthing options including home births and midwifery-led services.

He said: "The proposal the NHS takes out to public consultation in a few weeks time will be offering women across east, south and north Hertfordshire with a variety of services that together are better than those available currently.

"While our research failed to prove that a midwifery-led unit at the QEII was viable, the new service offers our staff opportunities to provide women with improved standards of care, while at the same time making real financial savings."

Through economies of scale, the Trust's plans for gynaecology, obstetrics/maternity and child health services will, if approved following public consultation, release over £1.5 million of nett annual savings.

This forms a significant contribution to the Trust's four-year financial recovery plan, which requires it to reduce its cost base by an overall £66 million by 2008/09.

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