More than 1,500 back birth centre campaign

Title: More than 1,500 back birth centre campaign.

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Campaigners fighting to save a threatened birthing centre in Hampshire have sent a petition with more than 1,500 signatures to Westminster in a last ditch attempt to stop the closure.

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Campaigners fighting to save a threatened birthing centre in Hampshire have sent a petition with more than 1,500 signatures to Westminster in a last ditch attempt to stop the closure. The Choose It or Lose It campaigners gathered together outside Romsey
Birthing Centre yesterday morning to hand the petition to Romsey MP Sandra Gidley, who will take it to the head of maternity services in Westminster. This petition is the latest in a series of protests by mothers campaigning against proposals for a shake-up of maternity services across south-west Hampshire. Southampton University Trust is consulting on three options which could see birth centres in Romsey, Lymington and Hythe axed and moved to Snowdon House, part of Ashurst Hospital, or Hythe Hospital. Campaigners have been working since July to stop the closure, as they believe the proposed plans would reduce choice for mothers and overstretch services at the Princess Anne Hospital. Bryony Douglas, who handed the petition to Mrs Gidley, said: “We have got to keep this birthing centre open, it cannot be closed. “Plans of moving it to Ashurst is just a nightmare for mothers. It is so far away and mothers would have terrible trouble trying to get there.” Bryony and the other mothers want the centre, based at Romsey Hospital, Winchester Hill, to remain open for ante-natal care, births and post-natal appointments, as they say it provides a “home-from-home” environment at such a vital time in a woman’s life. Sandra Gidley has been in support of the Choose It Or Lose It Campaign since it began and has helped with getting signatures on the petition. She said: “We will use this petition to arrange a meeting with the head of maternity services in the Department of Health. “Women are missing out on choice even though the government claim to be keen on choice. This centre is well used and could be used to full capacity. “My feeling is that all along there has been so many pieces to the jigsaw that people have already made up their minds but I hope I am wrong and this will make them listen to the local people.” Health bosses insist that the three birthing centres are underused, running on average at just over half capacity. The consultation process on these proposals ends on October 20.

Source:

By Melanie Adams
Tuesday 17th October 2006

Disclaimer:

Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent those of The Federation of Antenatal Educators (FEDANT) unless specifically stated.

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