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Families' disappointment as maternity services reduced

Families in North Yorkshire say they are disappointed that paediatric and maternity services at their local hospital will be scaled back.

The future of the units at the Friarage hospital will be debated in a public consultation - which will start next week.

Health bosses say the units are too small to be safe and that people will get a say on what services will remain.

Deliveries resume for Berwick mothers-to-be

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Deliveries are re-starting at Berwick Infirmary Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Women will once again be to give birth at Berwick maternity unit from Monday 1st July.

The service was suspended last August over safety concerns. It was feared that midwives were not receiving enough regular experience because so few deliveries had been taking place there.

Now, women whose births are considered low-risk will be able to have their babies in Berwick. However, the unit will not be staffed 24 hour a day. It will instead use on-call midwives in the evening, overnight and after 2.30pm at weekends.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust describes the new arrangements as 'safe and sustainable'. It says Berwick midwives will continue to work at Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington on rotation, to ensure they are able to regularly practice their full range of skills.

The Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith says he is pleased with the development, but will be studying the details of the on-call service. He wants to know where midwives will be based when they are on call, and how the service can continue during bad weather.

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Future of Berwick's maternity services up for discussion

A meeting to discuss the future of Berwick Hospital's maternity services has been held today.

The hospital's maternity services were suspended in August of last year due to a lack of people using the service and concerns over safety.

The trust has since put forward two options for the future of Berwick's maternity services - either to re-open the unit as it is but with more midwives so they can rotate and get more experience, or to have a 24 hour on-call service so they can give birth at home or in a special birthing room

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