STOP PRESS - Closure in Hull

ISSN 0256-5004 (Print)

AIMS Journal, 2011, Vol 23 No 2

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has announced the Jubilee Bir th Centre is to close as of 29 July. An inspection by the Care Quality Commission found the Trust had breached regulations by not being able to guarantee the bir th centre would be open when needed, and also highlighted a shor tage of staff to cover both the bir th centre and the main maternity unit. The Trust said it was unable to meet the CQC's recommendations to increase staffing and stop the disruption of temporary closures, and as a result the board voted for closure.

Those campaigning to protect the centre were devastated by the news and whilst the Trust had pledged to maintain the option of midwifery-led care at its main maternity unit, as well as home births, campaigners feel this may be the final nail in the coffin for natural birth services in East Yorkshire. Campaigner Sian Alexander said: 'In other areas where birth centres have closed, the home birth service is the next casualty. Maternity services are being squeezed to unsafe levels, and the lives of future generations are being put at risk, yet this issue is still not taken seriously.

'The decision to close the JBC is a body blow for the safety and well-being of mothers and babies in this area. Our only hope is that this staffing crisis can be resolved and the birth centre reopened as quickly as possible.'

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