Mums back plan for midwife-led birth unit in city
WOMEN who were against the closure of the Jubilee Birth Centre have backed plans for a similar unit at a Hull hospital.
GPs in the city say they are keen to offer women as many options as possible when having a baby – including births at home, in a midwifery-led unit and in a hospital environment.
Now, health chiefs are planning to open a midwifery-led unit at the Hull and East Yorkshire Women and Children's Hospital in Hull following the closure of the Jubilee Birth Centre in Cottingham in 2011.
The proposals have been put forward by Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and East Riding CCG – a new committee of doctors who will decide how and what health services are offered.
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NHS Hull CCG's lead for maternity Dr Dan Roper said: "Part of our proposals are to have a similar unit to the Jubilee at the Hull Royal site.
"Instead of being five miles away from the hospital, it would be one floor up.
"Mums would go into the midwife-led unit, but if they required specialist medical intervention, instead of going across the city, the staff could come upstairs to them, or they could go down in the lift.
"Although it would be within the same building, it would be a different environment."
GPs in the two CCGs have said it is important for women to have as much choice as possible – something that was echoed in a recent survey.
The maternity services survey showed parents wanted a range of options available to them.
Leanne Watkin, 34, of east Hull, gave birth to two sons at the Jubilee Centre and another at the Hull Women and Children's Hospital.
She said: "I think the new unit is a really good idea.
"When I had my sons at Jubilee, I didn't feel like I was bothering anyone.
"It was a very calming and tranquil environment.
"I didn't have a horrible experience at the hospital, but it wasn't the same.
"It felt a lot more clinical and there were a lot of people there rushing around.
"It is all about choice and what feels right for you."
As the survey has now highlighted a need for such a unit, the CCGs will work on more concrete plans for it.
Dr Roper said: "This wasn't about the nuts and bolts, it was about the direction we should take.
"The next stage will be to get a full maternity strategy, which will hopefully come about in a month or so."