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MP urges public to oppose removal of 24hr maternity service

September 28, 2016 2:29 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has taken part in a consultation over the removal of permanent 24hr cover at the Helme Chase maternity unit in Kendal, and is urging the public to make their views known to the Trust.

The changes were first introduced in December 2014 on a temporary basis, and it is now proposed that the changes be made permanent. These changes have removed 24hr permanent cover at the unit, moving to an on-call service at night, weekends and bank holidays. The changes have also seen post-natal care removed from the unit.

Since the changes were introduced, there has been a significant decline of more than one third in the number of women using the unit in Kendal.

Tim has had various meetings with health bosses and has made his concerns clear. He has now also responded to the public consultation, and is encouraging local people to do the same. The consultation is open until 4th November 2016.

To take part in the consultation, go to http://www.cumbriaccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/Consultation/helme-chase.aspx or email comments to: Communications.Team@CumbriaCCG.nhs.uk

Tim said: "Like many local people, I have seen my own children born at this unit and I know just how important it is. South Lakes women deserve better than a watered-down maternity service.

"Since the removal of the 24hr service, I have heard of women in labour arriving at the unit before the midwife. These changes damage public confidence in the unit and we can already see that it is driving women away. There is a very real danger that if these trends continue health bosses will decide that the ward is not viable, and will remove this service altogether."