As many residents know, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is running a consultation on their planned upgrade and re-organisation to hospital services in Leicestershire and Rutland.
The consultation is running until 21st December 2020 and asks for you to have your say on the services delivered at the three main hospitals in Leicester, run by University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust, as well as maternity services delivered at St. Mary’s Hospital in Melton.
In light of the proposed changes to St Mary’s, I’ve been working hard to ensure Meltonians’ voices are heard and to get the answers we need from local Health Chiefs to ensure that we have access to all the information possible.
The CCG has announced five online workshop evenings listed below to inform residents about the proposed changes. I wish to draw residents’ attention to the events on Monday 9th and Wednesday 18th November – focused on maternity specifically.
CLARITY ON PROPOSALS:
Having discussed the issue with the CCG directly, I have written to them asking for clarity on how the decision was reached on St. Mary’s Birthing Centre, and specifically what maternity services would continue at Melton Hospital.
The CCG has now responded to my letter and informed me that:
1. Maximum choice of place of birth remains a priority to them, whether this be through home births or shared care arrangements between an obstetric-led unit (co-located with neonatal services) alongside a midwifery-led unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
2. The CCG assured me that the option of a standalone midwifery-led unit remains proposed.
3. Some services, such as antenatal, postnatal and breastfeeding support would continue to be delivered from within St Mary’s.
I wrote again to the CCG on 29th October, to ask the CCG to strongly consider what further maternity services could continue be provided at St. Mary’s if they proceed with their proposals - specifically whether the ward for immediate postpartum care which currently sees a good level of use, could continue. This would recognise the desire of mothers to be as close to home as possible for postpartum care.
I have also requested greater detail on exactly what sort of investment they intend to make into the continued maternity services that would be based at St. Mary’s if their proposals go ahead. I await a response.
I also continue to seek a long-term vision for Melton Mowbray hospital overall and confirmation on which services will continue long-term to ensure it remains sustainable and we don’t just see service after service stripped away.
I recently visited St. Mary’s to meet with clinicians there to understand what support they need, and to learn more about the service. This was enormously helpful and the care they demonstrate for local mothers was evident.
DIFFICULTIES RESPONDING TO THE CONSULTATION:
A number of constituents have contacted me to raise concerns around the difficulty, complexity or length of the consultation response form. I have discussed this with the CCG, and understand the consultation response form will be changed to make its appearance and navigation (not the substantive text or content) more straight-forward for residents to respond to the consultation. There is also an easy-read format available currently.
I’m pleased to report that residents can also now answer just the maternity section of the consultation, which I hope will save Meltonians some time in having their say.
We need a comprehensive plan to ensure the sustainability of healthcare provision in Melton
I urge residents to engage with the workshops and respond to the consultation, so it can best reflect our needs locally. It is vital that residents respond to the consultation to have their say and make their voices known.