Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust announced earlier this week a temporary transfer of service for women planning to give birth at Wycombe Birth Centre until the end of November. It is a result of an unanticipated number of midwife vacancies across maternity services.
This is obviously extremely disappointing. The last time this happened was in 2010, as I reported here and here. Currently, about 20 mothers give birth at the unit each month, with 700 ante-natal and post-natal check-ups being carried out too.
I understand safe births could not be guaranteed given the departure of experienced staff so alternatives will be offered at Aylesbury Birth Centre, the Stoke Mandeville consultant-led unit or at home. Ante-natal and post-natal appointments will continue locally.
This is, as in 2010, a temporary suspension due to staffing and I have told the Chief Executive I want to see normal service resumed as soon as possible.