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'Babies could die' if West Cumberland Hospital downgrades maternity care

Midwives from West Cumbria have published an open letter to the NHS Trust in charge of the West Cumberland Hospital.

They say the removal of consultant-led maternity care could put the lives of mothers, and babies, at risk.

Midwife Bernadette Bowness is one those concerned about the future of maternity services in West Cumbria:

The impact could be that some mothers could die, babies could die, babies could be brain-damaged and families will be traumatised.

– Bernadette Bowness

ITV Border's Hannah McNulty reports.

Success Regime releases statement on maternity services

Credit: Success Regime Cumbria

The Success Regime, set up by the government to improve healthcare in west, east and north Cumbria, has released a statement following the publication of an open letter from west Cumbrian midwives.

A Success Regime spokesperson said:

The Success Regime is currently looking at several options in respect to maternity services and we welcome the value and input of staff in helping shape which options are right for our services and the families of north, west and east Cumbria.

Whilst we are in this period of engagement no decisions will be made about the future service configuration, or options to remove consultant cover from West Cumberland Hospital and nor will they be until after further engagement. Any potential proposals for changes to maternity services will then be subject to a full public consultation, which is due to begin in September. Any changes to services would only be implemented following detailed planning and discussions with clinical teams.

– Success Regime spokesperson
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