Maternity Sevices Review

9 May 2011, 14:15 | Updated: 9 May 2011, 14:26

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust released this statement today (Monday May 9th)

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has announced the start of an externally led review of its maternity (obstetric) services.  The purpose of the review will be to provide recommendations on how the Trust can deliver safe, sustainable, high quality maternity services for mothers and babies in East Sussex.  The review will also include the associated services of neonatology and paediatrics and emergency gynaecology in the future. The review will last for four months and will be conducted with full public and stakeholder engagement.

Darren Grayson, Chief Executive, said: “This review will be externally led by an experienced senior midwife Marie Grant.  Undertaking a review is not something that the Trust does lightly and we are aware of the previous history in relation to these services and the recommendation made by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel in 2008. However, despite the investment of considerable time and effort as well as additional funding in the Maternity Strategy put in place to deliver the IRP recommendation, we continue to experience challenges in providing maternity services in the current model.  We are clear that without some degree of change the service will not be sustainable and that unacceptable risks to safety may materialise and we can not allow this to happen.

“The Trust Board remains open minded to the best and safest way of ensuring we can continue to provide high quality care for mothers and babies.  But it is clear we cannot carry on as we are in the long term.  We want to take into account the experience and best practice from maternity services across the country and develop a clear set of criteria for making a decision on the service configuration that provides the safest care for our local population.  We will make sure that we involve a wide cross section of local people and stakeholders including GP commissioners in every stage of the review process.  We remain committed to ensuring we maintain safe services in their current model whilst the review is underway.”

Marie Grant, a midwife by background, will lead the external review. Marie has had a long NHS career including roles as Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at St George’s Hospital, London.  External independent input from other professionals including consultants in obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics are currently being identified.

A series of engagement events we will be arranged during the review to allow interested parties the opportunity to give evidence and views to the review.