When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Maternity unit shut for births following staff and mums' fears
THE Cotswold Maternity Unit in Chipping Norton has suspended births following fears raised by staff and women, it has emerged tonight.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has just announced it is taking the step with immediate effect while an internal review is carried out.
Yet the trust is refusing to say what is behind the closure, apart from a statement saying there are "concerns around working practices raised by staff and women using the unit".
The unit will open during the day to provide antenatal support, postnatal care, breastfeeding advice and hearing tests for babies.
The move only affects the Cotswold unit and an OUH spokesman said mums-to-be would be able to give birth at The Horton in Banbury, the John Radcliffe in Oxford, at home or at Warwick Hospital.
Women booked into the Cotswold unit or at home will be notified of the alternatives open to them, she added.
The internal review is expected to take about three months and the spokesman said a number of actions had already been taken. Jane Hervé, Head of Midwifery at the Trust, has been asked to lead the review into all aspects of the unit’s working practices
The spokesman was asked what the concerns were but she said the reasons would not be released to the public.
The trust says Cotswold Maternity Unit is a midwifery-led unit based in the north of Oxfordshire for women from Chipping Norton and the surrounding area.
The unit is staffed by Chipping Norton midwives and supported by midwives from Banbury and Bicester. It has two delivery rooms with birthing pools.
There were 32 births in the first six months of this year. There was only one birth during September.