Birthing centre’s future could be reviewed

The future of a birthing unit which serves Rutland may come under scrutiny, according to an independent report.

The report was carried out for the three local Clinical Commissioning Groups and recommended that further work should be carried out to review the use of the maternity service at St Mary’s Hospital in Melton.

It is one of nearly 50 recommendations from an independent obstetrician and midwife who carried out a review of maternity services at Leicester’s hospitals.

Ian Scudamore, consultant obstetrician and director of women’s and children’s services at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “If a report was to be commissioned it may include issues such as levels of activity at St Mary’s and also the condition of the building and environment from which the service operates.

“There are currently less than five babies born there a week, compared to over 200 a week at the Royal and General hospitals.

“This might be because mums want the reassurance of having access to effective plain relief and the reassurance of knowing that there is a fully operational obstetric and emergency service close by if something goes wrong.”

Hours after the news broke a Facebook appeal for St Mary’s Centre became a hub of activity.

Mum Natalie Watson said: “We all need to fight for St Mary’s, it’s an amazing place with brilliant staff, we will support it in anyway we can.”

Concerned mum Victoria Charlesworth said: “This is hideous, it really needs to stay open. I had an amazing water birth on New Year’s Day this year and the midwives were absolutely fantastic, as was the after care. It would be such a shame if the powers that be close it down.”

Have you given birth at St Mary’s? Should the centre be protected? E-mail the newsdesk