Go-ahead for maternity shake-up
A CONTROVERSIAL £60m shake-up of maternity care across Greater Manchester was given the go-ahead today.
Health secretary Alan Johnson approved plans to cut overnight care for mums and babies from 12 hospitals to eight, including the formation of three `super centres'.
Mr Johnson, who delayed his decision for a month to `fully consider' things, also rubber-stamped a £38m shake-up of hospital services in the north east of Greater Manchester, which means that Rochdale Infirmary will lose its accident and emergency ward and be downgraded to a locality hospital.
His decision also means children will only be born at hospitals in Salford, Bury and Trafford after 2011 if health chiefs set up midwife-led units there.
This is in spite of campaigns by mothers, midwifes and politicians from Salford, Bury and Rochdale, who have fought to save local services with marches, petitions and Commons debates.An independent review of the plans agreed with the decision to launch the shake-up and leading doctors say the changes will save the lives of mothers and babies, with some of the extra cash funding 79 extra special care baby nurses.
Sir David Henshaw, chairman of NHS North West said: "This will lead to the provision of better and safer healthcare for everyone."
NWN: This looks more like a way of saving money and reducing services, never mind if lives are lost.
At the same time. in this part of Lancashire, they are also closing Accident & Emergency units such as Rochdale.
This will provoke more babies to be born at home, which may not be a bad thing. But Emergency treatment is 'what it says on the tin' - EMERGENCY !
By closing these A&E units, lives in places like Rochdale will be lost. They are making a 'cock-up' just like they have done with the very sparsely covered Dental care we now have in the UK. We wonder how much that has saved this Labour Government ?