Campaigners have been calling for Shire birthing suite to be reopened
A REPORT on the future of maternity services at Galloway Community Hospital was considered at last weeks meeting of the region’s Integration Joint Board (IJB).
The local service review of maternity services in Wigtownshire was launched on January 18 under independent expert chairs, seeking views from stakeholders to help inform approaches.
A sub-committee of the IJB considered the report into the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire on Friday August 11 and emerged with two options for the service going forward.
Option one represents the birthing service currently available in Wigtownshire.
It would comprise continued care provision from Community Maternity Hub (Oak Tree Family Centre) and support for home births, but with no provision for intrapartum care within Galloway Community Hospital.
Option two would comprise the continued care delivery from Community Maternity Hub (Oak Tree Family Centre), with the addition of a planned, on call birthing option for low risk births from Clenoch Birth Centre within Galloway Community Hospital.
The report stated that option two was the preferred option, but it was decided that it would be recommended to the full IJB that both be taken out to public consultation.
The outcome of Friday’s meeting has been met with mixed feeling as NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Head of Midwifery Laura Boyce said: “I’m very pleased that the report has been presented to this sub-committee of the IJB setting out options for the future of maternity services in Wigtownshire.”
Whereas South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth stated that the time for talking is over and that people want action and not more lengthy consultations, he said: “While this review is a step in the right direction, I believe there is only one option: reintroducing births to the Galloway. Local people are very frustrated that this situation is only being discussed now, it is long overdue.
“I’d like to praise the local community who have tirelessly campaigned for the re-introduction of maternity services in their area, and to the mums who have shared their stories.
“But time for talking is over, we need action on this issue as soon as possible.”
Both options will be presented at the next full meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) Transformation and Innovation/Futures Committee on September 27.