Plan for midwifery centre
LISTER Hospital in Stevenage could become the area s centre for midwifery, obstetrics and 24-hour children s services under new proposals. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is proposing to create a specialist midwifery unit at the hospital which coul
LISTER Hospital in Stevenage could become the area's centre for midwifery, obstetrics and 24-hour children's services under new proposals.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is proposing to create a specialist midwifery unit at the hospital which could also deal with difficult births, and to create a children's A & E.
Under one option in the proposals The QEII Hospital in Welwyn GC would have a birthing unit but women with higher risk pregnancies would need to be treated at Lister.
Another option would leave the QEII without any midwifery or obstetrics facilities.
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In both options, Lister would also be the Trust's centre for all in-patient gynaecology treatment
Yesterday the Trust's board voted to put the plans for the A & E out to public consultation.
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It will consider a similar consultation for the midwifery plans at the next meeting on June 28.
The new units would save the beleaguered Trust £1.5m but it insists it would also improve the service to patients.
Currently both Lister and the QEII have labour wards, and the Trust says that it is impossible to have on-site consultant cover for the two wards more than 25 per cent of the time.
The new unit would have consultant cover 24 hours a day.
Public consultation on the children's A & E is expected to begin in July, and if a consultation for the midwifery proposals is also approved it is likely to start the same month.
Any changes to the service would take place in 2008.
The news comes as it was announced that breast outpatient and diagnostics will be transferred from Lister to a purpose-built unit at the QEII.
Members of Hertfordshire County Council approved the plan last week following a public consultation which ended in February.