‘Exceptional times’ mean how we deliver some maternity services in Northern Ireland will change
By ‘Exceptional times’ mean how we deliver some maternity services in Northern Ireland will change on 03 April 2020 Midwives RCM Maternity Services Director For Northern Ireland Northern Ireland RCM Northern Ireland Safe high quality care Safety Pregnancy Women
‘It’s necessary to look at how we deliver all parts of the health service to ensure that we can provide care for those with Covid-19 while continuing to provide safe maternity care to women and their babies’ that’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives in Northern Ireland as it responds to a region wide plan to reconfigure inpatient maternity and paediatric services.
Today The Northern Health and Social Care Trust have published interim plans for temporary re-configuration.
Responding, Karen Murray the RCMs Director for Northern Ireland said:
“It is essential that these changes are planned in full consultation with the Maternity providers to ensure we continue to provide the safest care. Equally, it’s important to ensure that temporary changes are reversed as soon as possible once the immediate crisis has subsided. These are exceptional times and it is unfortunately necessary to look at how we deliver all parts of the health service to ensure that we can provide care for those affected by this virus whilst continuing to provide safe maternity care to women and their babies. That will mean that for a time how we deliver some services will change, including sometimes providing care in a different location than before.
“Midwives continue to be best placed to support women during this time, and they will always put the needs of women and their families first. We expect an incredible amount to be asked of all our healthcare staff in the coming weeks and months. Their work has always been exceptional, never more so than now.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Statement from NHSCT
As part of this regional plan within the Northern Trust, the inpatient paediatric ward at Causeway Hospital will temporarily close to admissions with effect from Thursday April 9th 2020. Children requiring a hospital stay will be managed in the Children’s Ward of Antrim Hospital. Children’s short stay assessments will still take place in Causeway Hospital Monday to Friday 9am -10pm and Saturday and Sunday 12-6pm.
Due to the changes outlined in paediatric cover in Causeway, we have taken a decision to temporarily change the maternity services offered on the Causeway hospital site. As an interim measure all inpatient maternity services will now be provided at Antrim hospital. This includes any unscheduled attendances for pregnancy concerns, for labour and birth (this includes caesarean sections) and postnatal stay. The Causeway Maternity Unit will continue to provide Outpatient antenatal care Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Community midwifery across the Trust continues in the antenatal and postnatal period.
Staff will be redeployed as necessary within the Trust to support reconfigured services.
Inpatient paediatric wards in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry and the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) in Enniskillen will also close in what is step one of the four-step regional plan. The temporary reconfiguration will free up to 130 bed spaces during extreme surge in acute hospitals across the region. Around 50 adult bed spaces could be made available in the coming days when step one is implemented, approximately 13 of which would be in Causeway Hospital.
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/
Notes to Editors:
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The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources