Saturday, 13 February 2010

MP backs council's hospital vote

MERIDEN MP Caroline Spelman has welcomed a council’s opposition to changes to maternity services at Solihull Hospital.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council voted through a motion opposing the move by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to temporarily remove doctor-led births from April 1.

In a press release, she said: “I support the council’s motion and am very pleased that councillors have taken an active role in trying to save maternity services in Solihull borough.

“Local people are assured that I too am doing all I can to protect a vital service in the area.”

She said she had met HOEFT managers and midwives, ‘who had not been consulted’, written to Solihull NHS Care Trust and West Midlands health bosses.

She asked the latter ‘what their overall strategy for maternity in the region is and it appears they don’t have one’.

Bosses said the changes had to take place because there are not enough doctors to guarantee resuscitation of newborns.

Yet Mrs Spelman said guidance from the Government is ‘confusing’.

She said HOEFT says doctors must be at the scene in 10 minutes – Mrs Spelman said the guidance is 30. Doctors have to come from other doctors to Solihull.

She said: “The Government minister has written to me to say this is a matter for the local NHS, so where is the accountability in all of this for a public service we all pay for?"

The council motion, voted through on Tuesday, reads: “That the council recommends that Heart of England Foundation Trust make no material changes to the maternity service at Solihull Hospital until such time as the consultation process is concluded.

“That this council condemns Heart of England Foundation’s Trust decision to reduce maternity services before its promised consultation, and the council demand that it reverses the action, that this motion is sent to the Secretary of State for Health and local Members of Parliament.”

Click here for other stories about the controversy.

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