Maternity Unit Closes

24 October 2011, 16:04 | Updated: 24 October 2011, 16:56

Some people living in Welwyn Garden City and the surrounding area are unhappy that their local maternity unit has closed. Up until now women could give birth at the QEII hospital but now they will have to go to Lister Hospital thirteen miles away.

Lister Hospital in Stevenage has just opened a new, state of the art maternity unit costing £16.4 million. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust say that having one big unit will enable them to offer better maternity care as staff and equipment will not be split between two sites.

In Welwyn Garden City there are concerns about the distance, Katie Jackson had her baby at home thirteen weeks ago " I made a choice to have my second baby at home and I probably wouldn’t have made that choice had I known the QEII wasn’t just round the corner because its peace of mind knowing if theirs a complication or if something goes wrong then I’ve only got to go down the road to a hospital"

Sandra Walsh gave birth to her son at the QEII hospital five months ago. She says that her contractions came so quickly she thinks that she would have been quite distressed going all the way to Stevenage.

The NHS Trust insist that expecting mothers shouldn't be worried and say they have received a lot of positive feedback since the opening of the new unit last week.