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Farron challenges trust over Helme Chase - name the date the full service comes back!

April 27, 2015 11:56 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHTim Farron has called on the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust to reinstate Helme Chase as a staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week maternity unit at Westmorland General. Tim has called on the trust to 'name the date the service will be reinstated.'

On 26 November 2014 the trust said: "A new shift pattern is to be introduced at Westmorland General Hospital's Helme Chase maternity unit to allow midwives to be used more flexibly across the maternity services at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. This is an interim change."

For the last few months this interim change has been in place without any date to go back to previous system. Tim has said that this is 'utterly unacceptable' and has called on the trust to name the date that the interim changes will be removed.

Tim has said if no date is given he will go to health regulators Monitor and the Care Quality Commission and demand they investigate the trust, yet again.

Tim said: "Mums to be and families are deeply concerned that if they have their child at Helme Chase they will be shown the door, not when they are ready but when the clock strikes a certain time. Families need aftercare and this 'interim' situation must be ended as soon as possible, that's why I am today calling on the trust to name the date when it will end.

"It is utterly and totally unacceptable that this has dragged on for long. I can only assume they want to try and downgrade the service by the back door. This is something I utterly oppose.

"The staff at Helme Chase are amazing but are being put under more pressure by these new changes. Just like the families and Mum's to be, they deserve clarity.

"If the trust do not name the date I will ask health regulators to investigate this as a matter of urgency."

UHMBT'spress statement about the Helme Chase staffing changes being an "interim change" can be found here: http://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/media-centre/latest-news/new-shift-pattern-to-be-introduced-at-helme-chase