New mums to be sent home early7th October 2009
A health trust in Northern Ireland is planning to send new mothers home early after giving birth to try to save money.
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust plans to send the women home between six and 12 hours after having their baby.
Concerns have also been raised by patients groups that the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital plans to close a ward with the loss of up to 20 beds.
While the Belfast Trust denied ward closure plans it did confirm that it is discussing how it can modernise the service with one option being the early transfer of patients to community-based midwives.
Early release has already been implemented in Craigavon Area Hospital with new mums given the choice of whether to go home or to care for their new baby in the hospital's labour ward.
Joy Poots from the Royal Maternity and Jubilee Liaison Committee said: "While we know some women number do choose to go straight home from the labour ward most women feel they would like to lie down and rest after giving birth and recuperate before they elect to go home."
The co-director of Maternity and Women's Services at the Belfast Trust, Liz Bannon, women would not be told they were going home “in six hours” after giving birth but that enhanced community-based midwifery services was giving women an increased choice.
The NI Department of Health has to make £700m savings over three years and five NI health trusts currently face a combined end-of-year deficit of £76m.
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Title: New mums to be sent home early
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12832
Date Added: 7th Oct 2009