Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

High Wycombe Maternity Unit – Maternity Care Policy

Posted on: July 9, 2010

I have just read that High Wycombe Birth Centre is to close having been open only about seven months.

I feel very sad and angry about the whole fiasco.  We are getting such mixed messages from Central Government.  On the one hand we are to encourage home birth, midwife led care (Birth Centres) and on the other hand consultant led care (hospital) is being centralised into larger and larger regional units.

Wycombe consultant unit was closed at the end of last year and this meant that local “high risk” women needed to go to alternative hospitals – perhaps Stoke Mandeville, in Aylesbury which is quite a drive – perhaps half an hour or more.

Whilst I am definitely in favour of birth units I don’t believe that women with complications should have to travel further, and … guess what … the birth centre is now to be closed.  Where is the choice for women?

Although I am highlighting this one Trust, this is not a unique event – this is being repeated throughout the country – Midwifery Led Units are being closed … for example a beautiful, modern, purpose built unit at Hemel Hempstead … with services being centralised into ever larger units (or conveyor belt systems).

We (midwives and women) must shout loudly to preserve normal birth and make services safer for those needing acute medical services.

3 Responses to "High Wycombe Maternity Unit – Maternity Care Policy"

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And with the centralisation of maternity services there is no improvement in domicialliary care but instead a rush to require women and babies to attend ‘drop-in’ clinics which are, in many cases, several miles from where they live.

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