Shaping Health for Mid Kesteven FAQs

The following questions were raised and responded to during the public consultation for Shaping Health for Mid-Kesteven

Midwifery Services

Why are you closing the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit when the demand is clearly there for the unit - 239 women had booked to give birth at Grantham in 2011/12?

Why are you closing the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit when the demand is clearly there for the unit - 239 women had booked to give birth at Grantham in 2011/12?

In recent years more local women have been choosing to give birth where specialist services are available in case any complications arise. This is no reflection on the skills and ability of the midwives.

The women who booked to give birth at Grantham, but were not able to, would have had a change in their medical circumstances. To make sure mother and baby receive the best care possible in light of their change in circumstances, they are required to give birth in consultant led obstetric unit where specialist care is available.

Currently, if women experience complications during birth at Grantham they are taken by ambulance to an obstetric unit at Lincoln or Boston.

Our plans will still offer women the option of excellent midwife led care during birth in an alternative location; in doing so we can provide more outpatient appointments closer to home.

How can you assure the safety of midwifery services as there are claims there is a shortage of Midwives in Lincolnshire?

How can you assure the safety of midwifery services as there are claims there is a shortage of Midwives in Lincolnshire?

We have worked closely with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust when developing the plans to ensure that staffing levels can support the number of births.

Pilgrim Hospital recently missed out on government funding; surely it’s a risk cutting midwife services at Grantham now?

Pilgrim Hospital recently missed out on government funding; surely it’s a risk cutting midwife services at Grantham now?

There are no cuts to antenatal and postnatal care, this will remain at Grantham Hospital. We will relocate the midwife led birthing unit and the Grantham birthing unit will remain open until the relocation is complete.

Why don’t you develop an obstetric unit at Grantham Hospital?

Why don’t you develop an obstetric unit at Grantham Hospital?

To develop an obstetric unit at Grantham Hospital would require a considerable amount of investment, use of space and Royal College approval.

Clinical professional bodies (Royal College of Obstetrics, Royal College of Nursing) do not recommend running an obstetric unit with low birthing rates. It is a national requirement to have a service delivering sufficient numbers of babies to keep the midwives and health professionals skilled. Statistics tell us that we would not have sufficient numbers of women using the facility in Grantham. This is no reflection on the abilities of the midwives.

If the Midwifery Unit is closed for births will there be a bigger risk for mothers and babies as they have further to travel?

If the Midwifery Unit is closed for births will there be a bigger risk for mothers and babies as they have further to travel?

No, there is not an increased risk. Women are continually assessed throughout their pregnancy and are advised by midwives and GPs at which point to go to hospital if they have a distance to travel.

It’s not convenient/affordable for me to travel across Lincolnshire for my birth.

It’s not convenient/affordable for me to travel across Lincolnshire for my birth.

We recognise that Lincolnshire is a rural county and this has travel implications for local people. Although a small number of women will be affected by the relocation of the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit our plans will reduce travel implications for the majority. Fewer children and parents will have to travel to larger hospitals at evenings and weekends and, in future, travel for older people will fall as the hospital will be able to offer more routine services. As local health commissioners we work closely with key partners when developing services and will help to influence any improvements to travel and transport services where possible.

I want to receive my antenatal and postnatal care at Grantham but also want the same midwife at my birth, is this possible?

I want to receive my antenatal and postnatal care at Grantham but also want the same midwife at my birth, is this possible?

All antenatal and postnatal care will continue at Grantham. Your midwife will discuss your options with you

Will mothers still be able to have a home birth?

Will mothers still be able to have a home birth?

Yes, no change is planned to the home birth service.

Will other services suffer at the hospital if the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit stays open?

Will other services suffer at the hospital if the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit stays open?

We will be able to develop and improve other services within the hospital when the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit relocates, as it will free up space to deliver much needed outpatient appointments. The Midwifery Led Birthing Unit is currently drastically underused and only 100 women last year gave birth there. This space could be used to serve many more members of the public for a wider range of outpatient appointments such as chemotherapy and ophthalmology (eye care) closer to home. This could not happen if the unit stays where it is.

Where will the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit be moved to?

Where will the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit be moved to?

67% of people chose Lincoln as the preferred option. This is being given further consideration by the CCG. In the meantime, women continue to have the choice of having a midwife led birth at Grantham.

Do I have a choice of where I have my baby?

Do I have a choice of where I have my baby?

Yes women do have a choice, but the choice can be limited by their health care needs (eg women with previous complications or health issues give birth at an Obstetric Unit). Home birth remains an option for women who fit the criteria. Our plans ensure that women will still have a choice of midwife led birth.

What happens if I start experiencing complications when giving birth at home?

What happens if I start experiencing complications when giving birth at home?

The community midwife would call 999 when appropriate to do so to ensure you are transferred to an obstetric unit for specialist support. There will be no change to home births - this is the same procedure that currently happens.

Can I still have a home birth if I live in Grantham?

Can I still have a home birth if I live in Grantham?

Yes, if you meet the home birth health care criteria.

If the unit closes where is the nearest birthing pool I can use?

If the unit closes where is the nearest birthing pool I can use?

Birthing pools are already available at Nottingham and Lincoln.

Will there be any maternity services at Grantham Hospital?

Will there be any maternity services at Grantham Hospital?

Yes, antenatal and postnatal services will remain at Grantham Hospital.

Will the closure of the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit result in staff redundancies?

Will the closure of the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit result in staff redundancies?

There are no planned redundancies for staff if the Midwifery Led Birthing Unit at Grantham relocates.

A&E Services

Is the development of an A&E Care Centre disguised as a downgrade of A&E?

Is the development of an A&E Care Centre disguised as a downgrade of A&E?

No services that are currently delivered at A&E will be downgraded or cut as part of these changes. There are no planned changes to the name of A&E.

In fact, services will be enhanced. Two new children’s bays will be introduced offering 24 hour care for children, whilst currently there is no facility for children to stay at Grantham evenings and weekends.

A&E consultants, doctors and nurses will work closer together to make sure patients are seen and treated by the person with the best skills for their symptoms.

There has been a lot of noise in the media about A&E departments in crisis – how can you be sure that the future of Grantham is safe?

There has been a lot of noise in the media about A&E departments in crisis – how can you be sure that the future of Grantham is safe?

This programme is all about securing the future of high quality services at Grantham. Local GPs and NHS staff from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and primary care have been working over the past two years to look at what health services are needed in and around Grantham Hospital. We have identified ways that NHS staff can work better together to provide compassionate care for local people.

Children’s Services

How will the new children’s bays in A&E improve care for my child?

How will the new children’s bays in A&E improve care for my child?

Currently The Kingfisher Unit does not have the facilities to care for children at evenings and weekends. By introducing children’s bays into the A&E Care Centre, more children will be treated closer to home and fewer children will have to travel to larger hospitals for observation at evenings and weekends.

Children will continue to receive high quality care for their symptoms. Seriously unwell children will be automatically taken to larger hospitals with specialist health professionals and equipment, just as they would now.

How are parents supposed to know when to take their child to their GP, Grantham Hospital or elsewhere? If I don’t make the right choice will my child’s health be at risk?

How are parents supposed to know when to take their child to their GP, Grantham Hospital or elsewhere? If I don’t make the right choice will my child’s health be at risk?

Parents or carers who bring their child to Grantham Hospital can be assured that the staff will thoroughly assess the child’s symptoms to make sure they are treated by the most appropriate health professional.

Grantham Hospital will continue to treat children with minor illness and injuries and will now provide observation for extended periods.

Any children who need more specialist care will be safely and quickly transferred to a larger hospital after the team at Grantham Hospital have stabilised the child’s condition.

Why are you moving the children’s beds to the A&E Care Centre, surely it’s a waste of time and money?

Why are you moving the children’s beds to the A&E Care Centre, surely it’s a waste of time and money?

This change stops children arriving at A&E for treatment and being moved around different departments within the hospital. Having the children’s services located in A&E means that it can be staffed for a longer period of time during the day.

General

How can you call this a consultation when the outcome has clearly been decided already?

How can you call this a consultation when the outcome has clearly been decided already?

We’re fully committed to investing in health services that are right for local people. To make sure we get this right have listened to your views and are pleased to see that 87% overwhelming agreed with our plans. No formal decision was taken until the independent analysis and recommendations were discussed by the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body.

Why have you ignored the 7696 signatures from SOS Grantham Hospital?

Why have you ignored the 7696 signatures from SOS Grantham Hospital?

We have considered the petition alongside the consultation. However, there was no consistency to the petition forms and no evidence to support the claims being made by the SOS group. We have provided a separate response to the concerns raised through the petition which can also be found on this website.

Why can’t you invest in services at Grantham, rather than taking them away?

Why can’t you invest in services at Grantham, rather than taking them away?

In order to keep Grantham Hospital open for the future we have to look at what services are needed for the people living here in ten or twenty years’ time.

Grantham Hospital delivers excellent care but the reality is that it’s a relatively small hospital that will never be able to deliver specialist services. Stroke and heart attacks, for example will always be treated at larger hospitals with specialist equipment because we know it saves more lives.

Grantham is a growing town – we need more services not less!

Grantham is a growing town – we need more services not less!

Currently over 120,000 people live in Grantham and this is expected to rise by 10,000 in the next few years. Not only will the population increase, but people continue to live longer.

We are aware of this and have taken this into account when developing our plans to deliver services like routine joint replacements and eye surgery from the hospital in future.

How much money will these changes cost to implement?

How much money will these changes cost to implement?

Most of the changes that we plan to implement can be achieved without making any additional investment, but rather, by making changes to the way services are delivered. Investments into relocating the Midwife Led Birthing Unit will be generated from delivering services more efficiently.

We will bring together the best of A&E consultants and Out of Hours doctors, supported by mental health, social care and end of life care teams so patients are treated more quickly and efficiently by the most appropriate health professional, without further investment.

Will any staff be made redundant as part of these changes?

Will any staff be made redundant as part of these changes?

The health professionals that deliver services provide an excellent service and will continue to do so; there are no plans for staff redundancies.

How long will it take for the changes to be implemented?

How long will it take for the changes to be implemented?

The Midwife Led Birthing Unit will remain open until an alternative service has been developed to make sure that women will still have the choice of midwife led birth whilst the changes take place. The Shaping Health for Mid Kesteven Programme Board will continue to meet whilst these changes are implemented.

Surely this is just a cost cutting exercise?

Surely this is just a cost cutting exercise?

The changes we intend to make are not based on saving money. The plans are intended to give local people the care they need locally in years to come.