BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 11:33 GMT
Anger as birthing centre closes
Expectant mothers in a Hampshire town have been given just weeks to change their birth plans after it was revealed their birthing centre is to close.

The six-month closure has been blamed on the need to draft in midwives from Romsey to Southampton which has seen a local baby boom.

The four-bed centre, which will close at the end of the month, is the third to shut in Hampshire in six months.

A shortage of midwives was blamed for closures in Petersfield and Fareham.

We can use the money we are saving... to fund seven extra midwives and that's desperately needed
Karen Baker, trust spokeswoman

The 31 expectant women affected in Romsey are being offered the choice of a home delivery or giving birth in Southampton.

Mother-to-be Nicola Peckham said of the closure: "(I felt) disappointed and angry because it's such a caring, wonderful environment for your child to start their life and for you to recover in the first few days of giving birth."

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust insists the unit will reopen in the Spring.

Karen Baker, trust spokeswoman, said: "We need to redeploy those midwives so they can look after women in the main service.

"We can use the money we are saving by closing Romsey to actually fund seven extra midwives and that's desperately needed in the rest of the maternity service."

The Grange Birthing Centre in Petersfield and the Blackbrook Birthing Centre in Fareham closed in July this year and are not due to open again until April.

Birthing centres to remain closed
15 Oct 05 |  Hampshire
Pregnant midwives shut baby units
21 Jun 05 |  Hampshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific