Mothers petition for return of closer maternity services over fears lives are being put at risk

The two mums behind the petition
The two mums behind the petition Credit: ITV News Central

Two mothers from Redditch in Worcestershire are leading a petition for maternity services to return to the Alexandra Hospital, over fears that lives are being put at risk. 

Over recent years the maternity unit, trauma unit and the children's ward have been transferred to the Worcestershire Royal, a 45-minute drive away.

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch Credit: ITV News Central

The hospital trust says the changes were made after extensive public consultation, and that the changes were the best way to deliver high-quality services for patients. 

"What's going to happen to my baby ?"

Kirsty Southwell from Church Hill is now a happy mum to three-year old Dylan.

But five years ago when she was pregnant with her first child, a scan showed no heartbeat.

She then had to make the journey to Worcester for further examination, which she says added to the heartache.

She says:

"When I first found out they couldn't find a heartbeat - all sort of emotions were running around my head - how am I going to get to Worcester - what's going to happen to my baby?

"In the end a friend took us down, and that journey just felt like a lifetime knowing that I'm carrying a dead baby inside me - it was really hard".

Kirsty and Liz Cund, another mum from Redditch, have now set up a petition to bring back the maternity unit, children's services and the trauma wards to their local hospital - the Alexandra.

Liz's three-year old daughter has epilepsy - the family have to travel to the Worcestershire RoyaI for treatment.

That's a 45-minute trip and Liz says she fears one day they won't get there in time.

She says:

"On one occasion she was having a seizure all the way over to Worcester, if Redditch had been open, I'd be able to take her, that could have been stopped in five to ten minutes.

"Seizures after five minutes are dangerous, seizures over half an hour are looking at causing brain damage or even death.

"So for her to be having a seizure all the way from Redditch to Worcester - that is life- threatening'

In a statement the Worcestershire Acute Hospital Services NHS Trust says that the changes made to maternity and paediatric services were the subject of extensive public consulations, and that they presented the best way to deliver sustainable and high-quality services for patients.

There have already been petitions to bring local services back into the area, but the two mothers say the community should support this campaign to help everyone gain access to more local medical services.

Kirsty says:

"It's vital that we get our services back up and running as soon as possible - I don't want anyone to go through what I went through'.

The mums are organising a march in July to drum up more support - they say the area desperately needs those services back.

Watch the full report by Dani Crawshaw: