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Glimmer of hope for Stroud Maternity Hospital

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Stroud Maternity Hospital may be able to reopen their post natal beds, according to Dursley GP and Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Stroud, Dr Simon Opher.

The much-loved local maternity unit has been unable to provide postnatal beds for nearly eighteen months amid a severe shortage of midwives. 

“We have been campaigning to get these beds up and running again for over a year, ” said Dr Opher.

“Although the Care Quality Commission is right to be cautious, we have always said they are insisting on more midwives than necessary for safe operation, and some flexibility is needed. 

Simon Opher outside Stroud Maternity Hospital | Glimmer of hope for Stroud Maternity Hospital
Dr Simon Opher outside Stroud Maternity Hospital.

“In a new development, the CQC are now proposing a more flexible approach, using other healthcare staff rather than midwives, to ensure safe care of women who have already given birth.”

Stroud Hospital’s League of Friends has been at the forefront of the efforts to re-establish the post-natal beds. As a result of their work, Stroud Maternity Hospital now boasts an extensive range of free of charge services, delivered in collaboration with maternity staff. Within Gloucestershire it has been recognised as offering exemplary provision.

Roma Walker, Chair of the League of Friends said: “Although there are still midwife vacancies in Gloucestershire, Stroud Maternity Hospital has recently appointed two new midwives, and with this change in the CQC’s approach, we can make a strong case for the reinstatement of post-natal services. The amount of activity in Stroud has made the unit much more attractive to staff, so that it is now bucking the national trend in midwife recruitment.

“Our provision may well be unique in the whole country for the scope and quality of the additional programmes available to those who choose Stroud for the birth of their baby.’’

Dr Opher added: “It is amazing in the current climate that Stroud has managed to attract new midwifery staff. This is due to the way the unit is led by managers and midwives and to the marvellous support it receives from the hospital League of Friends. We are trying to find a local solution to a national problem, something that healthcare staff in Stroud have repeatedly done over the last few years.

“The CQC is due to inspect the Maternity Hospital in the coming weeks, and if they are satisfied with the progress that has been achieved, the re-opening of the postnatal beds is really within touching distance. Women in Stroud deserve the outstanding service that the Maternity Hospital provides.”

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