West Cumberland Hospital: Response to NICE home births recommendations

3rd December 2014

Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed has responded to today’s NICE recommendations ‘encouraging women to give birth at midwife-led units rather than traditional labour wards’.

He said:

“There is nothing in today’s recommendations that should in any way detract from the overwhelming case for retaining consultant led maternity services at the West Cumberland Hospital.

“The report states that all women giving birth should have timely access to an obstetric unit if they need to be transferred to hospital for medical reasons or because they request an epidural. This actually strengthens the case for retaining consultant led maternity services in Whitehaven, not moving them. 

“It is extremely important that women are given choice about where they give birth, but essential that there are wrap-around safety services around these choices. Again, this means retaining the consultant led services in Whitehaven – increasingly, it is these which underpin the basis of the West Cumberland Hospital as a functioning acute hospital.

“The fight to retain these services goes on; it is a non-negotiable expectation and nobody should attempt to spin today’s NICE recommendations as being anything other than supportive of that aim.”

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