More restrictions lifted at Walsall Manor’s maternity unitRita Dune
More restrictions lifted at Walsall Manor’s maternity unit
Walsall Manor Hospital’s maternity unit had been judged “inadequate” by inspectors
More women are being allowed to give birth at a hospital with a maternity unit once at the centre of safety fears.
In 2016, birthing restrictions were imposed at Walsall Manor Hospital after inspectors found the unit “inadequate” as it struggled to cope with demand.
Last year, there was an easing of the measures that had seen expectant local mothers sent miles away instead.
Now women from the wider region can elect to give birth in Walsall again.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the Manor, says the maternity unit’s rating has been upgraded to “requires improvement”, with all West Midlands GP practices able to book in pregnant women there.
In 2016, about 500 from the west of Walsall borough who had planned to give birth at the Manor were sent nine miles away to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.
It meant an annual capping level of 4,200 births for the Walsall site.
The trust says that as the hospital’s birth rate “over the last year” has been just over 3,500, it can maintain the cap while also bringing in new patients.
The trust’s divisional director of midwifery, gynaecology and sexual health, Nicola Wenlock, said: “By relaxing these restrictions we can now offer women a greater choice while maintaining the cap at 4,200 and ensuring the provision of safe, high quality care.”
The trust added it had been successful in appointing to all four consultant vacancies and continued to recruit to midwifery and medical vacancies, and was considering re-opening its Midwifery-Led Unit later this year.
Watchdog the Care Quality Commission said: “CQC carried out an inspection of maternity services at the Manor Hospital in Walsall in February. Our report will be published in due course.”
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