Planned change to baby wards

HEALTH bosses are considering a move which would switch some Bassetlaw Hospital childbirths to Doncaster.

The move is recommended in a review of maternity and gynaecology services which would see consultant led births centralised at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

It is one of four options put forwards in the review by Martin de Bono, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Divisional Director, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

It states: "At present, both the Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital have current services for women and their babies are safe. The spread of services across two sites hinders the ability to deliver the required improvements in quality into the future.

"This is due to a combination of factors including the need to increase consultant hours on the labour unit at the Doncaster site, the current shared obstetric and paediatric junior rota at Bassetlaw, the anticipated reduction in the number of training posts at Doncaster and Bassetlaw, and the occupancy levels and sustainability of the Special Care Baby Unit at Bassetlaw.

"There is a need to increase the amount of consultant supervision of junior staff which is difficult to attain without a comprehensive review of the existing rota arrangements."

It added: "The logical move from a clinical perspective to improve quality of care through increased supervision and increased consultant cover on the labour ward would be to centralise consultant led deliveries at the Doncaster site and establish a midwifery led unit at Bassetlaw and Doncaster sites."

In a joint statement Dr Phil Foster, NHS Bassetlaw's Medical Director and Dr Lis Rodgers, NHS Doncaster's Medical Advisor, saidsaid: "In his review of maternity and gynaecology services, Mr de Bono said there are real opportunities to improve services for women in the future.

"He also sets out a number of reasons why the current service has to be redesigned, including that the relatively low number of births at Bassetlaw Hospital is making it difficult for staff to develop their clinical skills."

A 90-day consultation programme will start on May 25 2011.

A separate report has looked at children's services at Bassetlaw Hospital. Consultation is also due to be carried out on that document.

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