New Cross Hospital maternity unit full to capacity after taking mothers on from other cities

The maternity unit at New Cross Hospital is over capacity because it is taking expectant mothers from outside the city.

The maternity unit at the hospital has seen a 17 per cent increase in births in August in comparison to last year, with a further seven per cent increase so far this month. It now plans to draw up an action plan to deal with the issue and avert a crisis.

The capacity for the unit based at the hospital is 5,000 babies a year. Already, the unit has reached this capacity and is now expected to go over capacity as it accepts expectant mothers from over the border in Walsall. Gwen Nuttall, chief operating officer for the Trust, told a meeting of Royal Wolverhampton Trust:

“We are currently forecasting to be over capacity for the year with capacity being 5,000 babies. This has flowed over because we have been accepting births from other regions, from Walsall and from other local areas.

“The number of mothers delivering has increased – we are already over the expected birth rate. We have seen a seven per cent increase from this time last year as well as a 17 per cent increase from August 2016.”

According to the integrated quality and performance report, April 2017 saw 410 mothers give birth at the hospital, May saw 426 whilst June saw 467. In July, 449 mothers ave birth and August saw 469. The number of mothers undergoing c-sections has also risen to 30.9 per cent. The report said this ‘rise in August is due to the complexity of patients and higher birth activity.’

Currently, there are 32 expectant mothers per midwife, with new recruits due to start next month. Speaking after the meeting, Ms Nuttall added:

“We would like to reassure all expectant mothers that they will receive the high quality safe care they would expect and deserve.”

The news comes after it was announced in March last year that around 500 births would be moved from Walsall Manor Hospital to New Cross Hospital after its maternity unit was judged ‘inadequate’ by inspectors. Walsall Manor said the measures were needed ‘to ensure the safety and stability of maternity services’. A spokesman for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“In order to ensure that we are able to provide safe, high quality care last year we introduced a cap on the number of births managed at the Manor Hospital. We agreed that New Cross would, on a temporary basis, help us by providing care for some Walsall women.

"We appreciate this support and understand that Wolverhampton is continuing with this arrangement. We will continue to work with colleagues there over the coming months to ensure where possible we can offer capacity.”


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