The temporary operational changes Weston General Hospital have told us they are making in the way they organise their staff within their maternity service is in response to an increased vacancy rate and a determination to ensure pregnant women in North Somerset can be confident of continuing to receive the highest standards of care through their pregnancy.
Pregnant women will be offered the same choices and level of service as they currently have -all expectant mums who have chosen to deliver their baby under the care of a midwife will be given one number to ring when they go into labour as happens now. By phoning this number 24 hours a day, an on on-call midwife will be contacted to support expectant mums’ choice to give birth at Weston General Hospital or in their own home if this is clinically appropriate.
Weston is continuing to work hard to recruit midwives and has a joint recruitment strategy in place with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.
The long term future for local maternity services is being considered as part of ‘Healthy Weston: joining up services for better care in the Weston area’ which is looking at how existing services can work better together to provide greater joined-up care for patients and how some services could be delivered differently in the future to make this happen.
We want to provide a service that enables mothers to have their babies locally that is sustainable and make best use of NHS resources. We are working with neighbouring hospitals in Bristol and Somerset to look at how maternity services can best be provided to women in Weston and the surrounding areas in the future.
A further update on progress will be provided during the summer and the next phase of this work is expected to be completed by the autumn 2018.