Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
Births suspended at maternity unit
EXPECTANT mums will not be able to give birth at a West Oxfordshire maternity unit following fears over ‘working practices’.
Births at the Cotswold Maternity Unit based in Chipping Norton were last night suspended ‘with immediate effect’ after reports by staff and women using the unit.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has now launched an internal review, but refused to say what the issues were.
It also refused to answer questions on how many people had raised concerns, and what the nature of them was.
An OUH spokesman said the decision was taken to suspend births at around 4pm yesterday.
She added: “ A number of actions have already been taken and the suspension of births will enable a full review of the unit to be completed.”
Jane Hervé, a newly appointed head of midwifery at the trust, will now lead the review into all aspects of the unit’s working practices.
It is expected to last for three months.
The unit will remain staffed and open during the day to provide women and their families with antenatal support, breast feeding advice and support, baby hearing tests and postnatal care.
In the past year 33 babies have been born at the unit which was opened by David Cameron in 2010.
As part of the review the trust said Ms Hervé will engage with staff, local mothers, new parents and representatives of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee, which is a statutory body which recommends changes and improvements.
Midwifery-led units such as the Cotswold Maternity Unit are staffed by midwives for women with low risk pregnancy who do not require any interventions in labour including an epidural.
Women from Chipping Norton and the surrounding areas will continue to have a choice of where to give birth , including the Horton Hospital, in Banbury, the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, home birth and the neighbouring South Warwickshire Hospital.
The trust said women who are booked or considering giving birth at the Cotswold Maternity Unit or at home will be notified individually of the change in the service to talk through their options.
Were you due to give birth at the unit? Have you been affected by the closure? If so, give the Oxford Mail a call on 01865 425426 or email us here.