Trust says it has adequate maternity capacity - despite sending mum-to-be nearly 50 miles to give birth!

  Posted: 08.06.21 at 23:09 by The Editor

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PLACATORY words from the trust that runs local maternity services have failed to allay the anger of a Thurrock family after they were no beds within more than 40 miles available after a young mum with health issues went into labour.

Fortunately there was a happy outcome to the story told on Nub News over the weekend, when healthy baby girl Kobi Rose was delivered at Colchester Hospital where her mum Charlotte was driven by car after she was told there were no beds available at Basildon Hospital nor Darent Valley, just across the Thames.

Charlotte, who became pregnant after successful fighting a battle against the lymphoma cancer, was shocked to learn last Friday, when she went into labour four days earlier than expected, that she had to make her own way to Colchester – despite her previous condition meaning that she was on a watch-list for special maternity care.

Thankfully she made the trip of more than 40 miles without incident and her daughter was delivered in the early hours on Sunday morning – but dad Terence Keenan was far from happy and blasted the local health services for putting his daughter and granddaughter at risk.

Following an initial brief statement, a spokesperson for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, has now gone into more detail about the incident, saying: “We always try to care for pregnant mothers in their hospital of choice, but if one of our maternity units is already full there may be occasions where the mother is clinically assessed and then, if safe to do, asked to travel to an alternative nearby hospital to make sure they receive the safest and best care.

“We would welcome Charlotte and her family getting in touch so we can look into any concerns they may have.”

The trust added the following about its capacity to care for mums: “The Trust has a robust escalation process to monitor women’s safety. If a maternity unit is at capacity, a clinical assessment takes place with the mother via the phone to help inform decision making on the most appropriate place for them to receive care.

“Discussions will also include the most appropriate method of transport depending on the circumstances. This could be private transport, or in emergencies, an ambulance.

“Maternity capacity is reviewed on a regular basis and can, understandably, change quickly. Basildon and Southend hospitals now both have maternity capacity.”

Mr Keenan says Colchester Hospital, which he stressed had given excellent service to his daughter, is hardly ‘nearby’ and he says that he is stunned and angry that the local hospital trust can’t manage its childbirth issues and he disputes the claim that it has ‘maternity capacity’.

He told Nub News: “Clearly they do not, or Charlotte wouldn’t have had to go to Colchester. They didn’t even have a plan to get her to hospitals in Kent or east London which are a lot nearer.

“It is madness to think they cannot accommodate every mum-to-be. Surely there must be data available on how many expectant mums there are?

“And as for us getting in touch with them about our concerns, you might have expected they would be wanting to get in touch with us to explain and apologise for what has happened.”

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