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Farron calls on hospitals trust to restore 24/7 cover and postnatal care to Kendal

October 17, 2017 1:15 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called for the postnatal ward in Kendal to be reopened and for the maternity unit to be open 24/7 after new figures revealed a sharp drop in babies being born at the ward.

Since Kendal's maternity unit at Helme Chase switched to an on-call system overnight and at weekends in 2014, along with the closing of the postnatal ward, the number of babies being born at the ward has dropped by almost 50%.

Meanwhile the Royal Lancaster Infirmary saw a decrease of just 2% since 2014, proving that the drop isn't simply down to a reduction in birth rates in the area.

Tim said: "These new figures clearly show that the decision to downgrade maternity services at Helme Chase has put off local mothers from using the ward.

"The Trust and commissioners must now prove that they support our maternity services by taking immediate action to reverse this worrying decline.

"It's been nearly three years since the Trust decided to end 24/7 staffing at Helme Chase, and to discontinue the popular maternity ward, and I am still regularly contacted by parents, mums to be and others who are deeply concerned about the situation.

"The maternity ward at Helme Chase is a fantastic facility, with incredible staff who take great care of all mothers who work there.

"Along with thousands of others, my children were born at Helme Chase.

"I'm determined that we don't allow it to slide towards closure.

"But this huge drop in babies being delivered at the unit, shows it running the risk of becoming a neglected service. Now is the time for NHS bosses to act."