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HOSC Recommendations on Maternity Services in the High Weald

The Health Oversight & Scrutiny Committee has published its final report and recommendations that it will submit to the CCGs.

The full report was available on the HOSC website, but as it is a very large report (covering more than just this one topic) we have extracted the relevant recommendations which are reproduced below.

The original HOSC website is no longer on-line (5Feb17). The full report can now be downloaded from this website.

Recommendation about the configuration of services

  1. The future configuration of maternity services in East Sussex should provide for the best geographical spread of locations across the County whilst ensuring safe and sustainable services. Options 1, 2, 3 and 4 limit the choices of locations available therefore none of these four options should be selected.
  2. The choice of service configuration should take account of a range of factors including: financial viability; population size and growth; the needs of specific population sub-groups; deprivation and associated risk factors.
  3. Changes to the configuration of matemity services should include upgrading and modemising facilities, with due consideration given to the number of beds required across all type and location of unit. HOSC wishes to see excellent, modem obstetric and gynaecological sen/ices for women in East Sussex.

Recommendations about matemity services in the High Weald

  1. The matemity care pathway for women in the North Weald needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency to include provision for reconnecting community midwifery with the birth choices now being made in practice by High Weald women:
  2. Women should have the opportunity to give birth at CBC midwife-led unit with the option to go to Pembury seamlessly should an obstetric service be required or desired
  3. The administrative pathway barriers, such as formats of patient notes and booking arrangements operating differently in different trusts, must be resolved v Activity levels at CBC should be improved pending longer term management decisions such as reinstating obstetric scanning services at CBC
  4. The ‘emergency transfer link’ from the High Weald and Crowborough Birthing Centre (CBC) to Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury must be strengthened as reflected in existing practice for women in distressed labour at CBC.

Recommendations about paediatric services

  1. Both Eastbourne DGH and the Conquest need a Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Unit (SSPAU) that provides a level of service that is better aligned with peak periods of need than the current sen/ice. This will require a review of: a) SSPAU opening hours, b) consideration of how services can be provided outside normal opening hours and c) a robust protocol on transfers to ensure that, for example, the intended destination is clearly communicated and agreed amongst all parties in a timely manner.
  2. Co-locating inpatient paediatric services with a consultant-led obstetric unit is appropriate based on the evidence available.
  3. The operation of the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) should be reviewed with the strategic clinical network to see whether Level 2 services would be more appropriate in future.

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