An MP is calling for her constituents to contribute to a review in a bid to improve maternity services.
Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes said maternity issues have been an issues in the area for ‘some time’.
The review, led by independent chair Baroness Cumberlege, will assess maternity services in England and will consider how they should be devleoped to meet the ‘changing needs of women and babies’.
Ms Caulfield said: “Maternity issues have been an issue in the area for some time, following changes to maternity services a few years ago.
“I am delighted Baroness Cumberlege is chairing the review as she is a highly respected former minister.
“I do hope my constituents will take part in the consultation. The date for ensuring submissions are considered is October 31.”
“I have also made a representation to the review particularly since maternity services have been moved to Hastings.
“Women from Polegate, Seaford, Alfriston and East Dean are having to travel 90 minutes to access maternity services. Many are now giving birth on the way.”
Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell announced last week she will ask the new leadership of East Sussex Healthcare Trust to look again at the decision to remove services including consultant-led maternity and paediatrics from the town.
Branding the move of the units to Hastings ‘ill-thought-out’, the MP said the decisions, made under a now ‘discredited leadership’, should be reviewed once a new chief executive and chairman are appointed.
A spokesman for East Sussex CCGs said: “The CQC report is clear that day-to-day problems witnessed in maternity services are due to staffing levels. “Prior to temporary reconfiguration in May 2013, the challenge of maintaining safe staffing levels over two sites was seriously compromising patient safety, and that is what led to the Better Beginnings review that made those changes permanent.
“It is inconceivable that safety or quality could be improved by resuming consultant-led services over two sites, and we are confident that the current configuration is the safest and best option for local mothers and babies.”
Visit www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/futurenhs/mat-review/ to find out more.
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