• Devon midwifery services up for review

    14th June 2013 | News | Claire
  • The review is still in its planning stages and will be considered by Devon County Council’s health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee at a forthcoming meeting.

    The health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee (OSC) met today (of which I am a member) and heard that a review of maternity services in North Devon, has already started. 

    Jac Kelly, chief executive of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, told councillors that a budget cut of £1.1m meant that the trust had to cut costs immediately. 

    £1.1m represents a percentage budget cut of £20m, to the North Devon maternity service.

    Councillors were told that a “fundamental redesign” of services was required.

    The review will include:
    – choice of how to access maternity care
    – choice of type of antenatal care
    – choice of place of birth, including home birth
    – choice of place of postnatal care

    Proposals to alter services include:
    – community midwives to centralise into localities rather than GP practices and health centres
    – home visits to be rationalised
    – review of skill mix
    – review and reduce obstetrician costs
    – maximise income generation opportunities

    Following this presentation and aware that NHS is likely to be conducting a similar review into maternity services in the remainder of Devon, I asked this morning that any proposals or parameters for such a review in the remainder of Devon, is included on an agenda for a future health and wellbeing overview and scrutiny committee.  This was agreed.

    The health OSC operates on the basis that any changes to health services should be brought before the scrutiny committee at an early a stage as possible.

    The meeting was webcast live and will be archived and ready for viewing early next week, here – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts