• Honiton Hospital maternity births and post-natal care suspended until July

    24th April 2014 | News | Claire
  • Tracey Reeves, Associate Director of Midwifery and Patient Care / Acting Deputy Chief Nurse at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, said:

    ”Due to exceptionally high levels of staff sickness midwifery services for birth and in-patient postnatal care at Honiton Hospital were temporarily suspended on 23 March 2014

    Our priority is ensuring services for new mothers and their babies are safe and high quality and the unit will remain closed until we are confident staffing levels have returned to normal and that this level can be sustained. This is an operational matter and is not a question about the future of the service.

    Sickness absence is being actively managed in order to support staff back to work when they are fully recovered.

    We have been unable to redeploy midwifery staff from other areas to the unit as this would make it difficult for us to provide safe, high quality services elsewhere. Our Bank midwifery staff provide short term cover for sickness and are unable to provide long term commitments to cover the work required in a community setting.

    We will endeavour to resume services at the unit as quickly as possible. Women planning home births will continue to be supported. All routine antenatal and postnatal care is unaffected.

    Temporary alternative arrangements have been made for women planning a midwife led birth to receive care at the alongside Exeter Birth Unit at the RD&E Hospital or at the Tiverton Birth Unit. It is hoped that the service will be reopened for post-natal care and births by July 2014.

    We would like to apologise to any women who have been inconvenienced, but would assure them that the decision has been taken to ensure the safest service provision for mothers and babies at this time.”

    Gwen Pearson, Commissioning Manger for Maternity Services at Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, (NEW Devon CCG) who commission the service said: “As commissioners of this service we want to see this service up and running again as soon as it is safe to do so.
    “We are working with the RD&E to ensure everything possible is done to achieve this as soon as possible.”