Mums' anger as new birth unit at Hull Royal Infirmary to open later than planned
MOTHERS have told of their anger after hospital bosses confirmed a delay in the opening of a new midwifery-led unit.
The Jubilee Birth Centre, in Cottingham, was forced to close its doors in July last year after health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it had "major concerns" about staffing levels.
Following a review, the Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust board decided to move all maternity services to its Hull Royal Infirmary site to ensure "certainty and safety" for women.
This included creating a £500,000 midwifery-led unit alongside the existing facilities at Hull And East Yorkshire Women And Children's Hospital.
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Now, health officials say the unit, which was built through the Government-backed private finance initiative (PFI) scheme in 2003, will not open in January as planned due to the "complexities" of working with the building owners.
Steph Brook, 25, of east Hull, gave birth to her son, Ryan Allen, at the Jubilee Birth Centre two years ago and is expecting her second child in June.
She said: "It's not good it has been delayed.
"We have been waiting long enough already to have more choice in the area.
"My baby is due in June, so fingers crossed it will be finished by then. If not, I will have a home birth."
The trust said it was not able to confirm how long the delay would be but an opening date is expected in the coming weeks.
Claire Tomlinson, 34, of Little Weighton, gave birth to her daughter, Jessica Tomlinson- Pickering, at the women and children's hospital two years ago, after she was turned away from the Jubilee Birth Centre due to staff shortages.
She said the delay was an "ongoing charade".
She said: "It's prolonged all the time.
"Somebody somewhere will have been planning on using the new unit in January and their plans will have to be changed."
A spokesman for Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the women and children's hospital, said a range of options are available to women, including midwifery- led, water and "increasingly popular" home births.
The spokesman said: "We are committed to enhancing this service with the development of a dedicated midwifery-led unit on our Hull Royal Infirmary site and we are working with our PFI partners in the women and children's hospital to achieve this.
"However, the complexities of working in partnership with the PFI building owners does mean the unit will not now open in January.
"We expect we will be able to confirm the completion date in the next few weeks."