Healthwatch Bucks supports decisions that have the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies at their core.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust have put patient safety first and have recently announced mothers will not be able to give birth at Wycombe birth centre from July 25th to October 31st due to a shortage of midwives. Ante-natal and post-natal appointments will continue to be offered at Wycombe Hospital. All mothers due to give birth there will be contacted and alternative arrangements will be made with the mothers wishes in mind. There are clearly challenges around providing consistent maternity services in the short term, and we are pleased that steps are being taken to address those. Whilst the birthing suite delivers just 20 babies a month, we believe that every birth matters and those 20 births are incredibly important to the mothers and their families. We recognise that this may be a stressful time for many expectant mothers, and we want to ensure that all mothers voices are being heard so we welcome any feedback you may have – good or bad.

If you have been affected by these changes, or want to comment on the transfer of service or maternity services in general please give your feedback.

Carolyn Morrice, chief nurse at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust:

Following a full risk assessment of staffing levels, we decided that offering alternative options for the women considering giving birth at Wycombe Birth Centre was the safest and least disruptive option in order to maintain a full range of birthing choices and to continue to offer the high standards of quality and safe care for all the women we support in giving birth.

“This was a difficult decision to make and we recognise that it will be very disappointing for women who may have been considering Wycombe Birth Centre for their delivery during the next three months, and for this we are very sorry. Our team has done everything possible to keep disruption to an absolute minimum. We are confident that with new recruits due to start in October, Wycombe Birth Centre will be able to re-start offering care to women giving birth from 1 November.

Read the full press release and learn more about the temporary transfer of service.

Published on 11 Jul, 2016 (updated 24 Aug, 2016)

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