Maternity staff shared by sites

(Stock Picture) Dewsbury and District Hospital - Ridings Building. (D16071049)
(Stock Picture) Dewsbury and District Hospital - Ridings Building. (D16071049)

A HOSPITAL insider has shared plans to reduce maternity staffing at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

In an anonymous letter, the staff member detailed ‘disturbing future plans’ for local services.

The letter said: “Big changes are coming to the maternity service. I feel the public has a right to know.

“The doctors and midwives at Dewsbury are fearful for the future. Many feel that safety will be greatly compromised.”

It said the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust was moving midwives from Dewsbury to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. The staff member said it would mean fewer midwives to support pregnant women in North Kirklees, many of whom needed specialist care.

They said there would be five midwives covering eight delivery rooms, a three-bed midwife-led unit, operating theatre and high dependency unit. And when the Reporter Series asked the Trust about the claims, it admitted changes were being made.

Lynne Hall-Bentley, associate director of operations for women’s services, said its midwives had started working on all sites, initially on a voluntary basis.

She said the new arrangements were the result of recommendations made after an external review of maternity services last year.

“One of the recommendations was that for professional development, and using best practice from other maternity services, cross-site working at midwifery and consultant level should be practised,” she said.

“We make sure that our maternity staffing levels are appropriate based on the number of expected births and therefore there will be differences in the numbers of midwives at our three sites. This is reviewed weekly.”