Patients, families and politicians last night met with NHSGGC’s nursing director and senior clinical staff from the Vale of Leven’s Community Maternity Unit (CMU) at an engagement event to discuss the proposed transfer birthing services from the CMU to the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH).
At the public meeting, the audience heard from Dr Margaret McGuire, the board’s nurse director, the reasons for the proposal to transfer birthing services from the CMU which will affect less than 50 women a year.
Dr McGuire confirmed that all of the ante-natal and postnatal services would remain at the CMU and women would have a choice of midwife led birthing services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, the option to have a home birth or a delivery at one of the other Glasgow services.
Those in attendance heard around 12,000 patient appointments are made at the unit each year for antenatal and postnatal care, parent education classes, infant feeding advice and liaison with GPs and health visitors. These services will remain at the CMU and are not changing.
During their pregnancy women will still receive the majority of their maternity care locally. The only part of the service affected by the proposed change is the midwife-led birthing service.
Dr McGuire explained: “The evening was very productive. It allowed us to hear views about the proposed changes which we need to consider and report back to the board. It also enabled us to make sure local people fully understand what we are proposing.
“We are not proposing to close the Vale of Leven’s Community Maternity Unit. All ante natal and post natal services will remain and continue to be provided. We are proposing that midwife-led birthing services are transferred to the RAH.
“This service was originally planned to accommodate around 300 births annually. However, last year, 50 women gave birth at the hospital and there have been 25 births at the hospital so far this year.
“As a result of falling number of births, the ability to deliver a safe, person-centred and effective service is becoming increasingly more difficult. As a result, the midwives keep up their skills by working at the busier CMU at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Information on the proposal and ways in which people can engage with us can be viewed at www.nhsggc.org.uk/inform-engage-consult/Valebirthing or people can send us their views by emailing Public.Involvement@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.
Patient Experience Public Involvement and Quality,
4th Floor West Glasgow ACH,