Reports are coming in this morning that the Oxford University Hospitals Trust board members are currently discussing a recommendation that the Cotswold maternity unit, based at the new hospital on London Road, should reopen on 1 July 2013.
This follows a suspension of services last October, over fears about working practices, patient transfers and falling birth numbers. At a meeting on 15 November last year, the Trust stated that,
“A number of issues had been raised and these concerns had been identified through internal monitoring processes, the staff and via the Maternity Services Liaison Committee.”
The possible reopening of the maternity unit, recommended following a six-month review, would only take place after 31 recommended improvements are carried out.
Clinical director Paul Brennan said that “the way the service was operated was clearly not in line with trust policies” and that the report concluded that the maternity unit should reopen in July, after the recommendations are put in place.
Not all are happy about the recommendations; local mother Kate Barlow has expressed her concern that Chippy midwives who raised safety concerns have been disciplined for reporting their concerns, yet this wasn’t covered in the report.
The Oxford Mail‘s political reporter Freddie Whittaker has commented that the report on maternity services in Chippy “veers from issue to issue without much explanation in between. We need an explanation.”
The review of the maternity unit is calling for a “substantial” increase in births there, to at least 150 a year, to ensure its sustainability in the future.
Information from Clare Semke (@claresemke) and Freddie Whittaker (@OxfordFreddie) on Twitter, who are attending this morning’s meeting at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Follow them for further information; and check here for further updates later.