Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT) currently has no plans to reduce or close any of its highly-rated Maternity services.
However, in order for the service to remain available for women and their families in the future, the Trust must ensure that it is sustainable, and this is very much dependent on the number of births a unit can deliver.
The number of births at MCHFT’s Maternity Unit is already below that required to be sustainable and, as a result, is currently cross-subsidised financially from activity undertaken across the whole Trust. However, the Trust is seeing a slight decline in the number of births and there are concerns that any further loss could seriously impact on the sustainability of the Unit. The Trust is currently discussing this with its Commissioners, who would need to seek appropriate alternatives if this should happen.
Over the past few years, MCHFT has significantly developed its Maternity service. The Unit at Leighton Hospital can provide care for all women, from low-risk births in the Maternity-Led Unit through to those who may require more attention in the traditional Labour Ward. The Trust is also able to provide women with home births, all supported by a fantastic team of dedicated and highly qualified Midwives.
The purpose-built Midwifery-Led Unit, attached to the main Labour Ward, provides birthing pools, ambient mood lighting, en-suite facilities and a private courtyard accessible from each room. A new high-dependency area is also available for women who may require more intensive specialised care during labour, further increasing the safety of their care.
The service is currently shortlisted for the Royal College of Midwives’ “Maternity Service of the Year” Award, the winner of which will be announced in early March. The service has also received a positive rating in the CQC National Patient Survey, achieved Stage Two of UNICEF’s Baby Friendly initiative and has been named as one of the safest units in the country by CNST.
Further information about the range of maternity options available from the service is available at www.mcht.nhs.uk/maternity.