Num­ber of labour ward beds to be cut

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

The num­ber of beds at Ninewells Hos­pi­tal’s labour ward will be cut fol­low­ing a re­view of ma­ter­nity ser­vices.

Two fewer beds will be avail­able af­ter NHS Tay­side de­cided to re­lo­cate the ma­ter­nity triage unit – an assess­ment area for preg­nant women – to the labour suite area.

Con­cerns have been raised over the “lack of pri­vacy” of the new set-up, as well as peo­ple hav­ing to wait longer for in­duc­tions.

How­ever, NHS Tay­side said the changes were part of a drive to im­prove ser­vices and said there would be no im­pact on mid­wife num­bers.

In an anony­mous let­ter sent to The Courier, a source re­vealed: “Ma­ter­nity triage at Ninewells has been told it ‘has to move’ to the labour suite, which will mean two less labour beds for Tay­side.

“There has been no proper dis­cus­sion about this and it means peo­ple won’t be able to come with rel­a­tives to be seen as (there is) not enough room, lack of pri­vacy and be­cause less beds (sic) peo­ple hav­ing to wait longer for in­duc­tion.”

A spokesman for NHS Tay­side said the move would al­low women to have faster ac­cess to the med­i­cal staff and that the changes will be for a trial pe­riod of six months.

She added: “Ma­ter­nity ser­vices in Tay­side are con­tin­u­ally re­view­ing how and where care is de­liv­ered to women ac­cess­ing our ser­vices.

“As part of this on­go­ing im­prove­ment, we plan to re­lo­cate our triage fa­cil­ity to the labour suite area for an ini­tial pe­riod of six months.

“The planned move will al­low women to have quicker ac­cess to med­i­cal staff when re­quired.

“It will mean there are two less labour beds avail­able, how­ever a new triage bed and am­bu­la­tory area will be cre­ated. There will be no im­pact on the num­ber of mid­wives avail­able in Tay­side.”

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