Proposed service changes at Inverclyde CMU

Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s Community Maternity Unit (CMU) is a busy service providing a wide range of maternity care to all women in the Inverclyde area.

More than 12,000 patient appointments are made at the unit each year for antenatal and postnatal care, parent education classes, infant feeding advice and liaison with GPs and health visitors.

These services will remain at the CMU and are not changing. During their pregnancy women will still receive the majority of their maternity care locally.
The only part of the service affected by the proposed change is the midwife-led birthing service. This service was originally planned to accommodate around 300 births annually. However, last year, 22 women gave birth at the hospital and there have been 13 births at the hospital so far this year.

We are proposing to transfer only the labour and birthing services from the IRH. Instead, midwife-led care will be provided at the Royal Alexandra Hospital or women will have the choice of giving birth at home.

Fewer babies born in the Community Maternity Unit

The service at the IRH is a freestanding unit separate from a consultant led maternity unit with obstetric consultants. As a result, midwives only care for women who will need no medical intervention during labour.

Pregnant women are currently assessed to see whether they are medically fit to give birth in this midwife-led unit. Evidence based clinical criteria taken into account include any existing health conditions; the woman’s weight; if she is expecting more than one baby; her age and her lifestyle.

In recent years, we have seen a reduction in the number of women who are ‘low-risk’ and therefore eligible to be considered for a midwife-led birth. This has led to a downward trend in births within the IRH CMU.

Staff give these women a range of choices of where they want to give birth, including making them aware of the potential option of giving birth in the CMU. Despite this, many eligible women opt to have their antenatal and postnatal care at the IRH CMU, but choose to have their baby at a maternity hospital where consultant-led medical care is available.

Staffing issues

The midwives at the CMU are highly skilled and work as part of a team to provide antenatal care, a birthing service and postnatal care.

As a result of falling number of births, the ability to deliver a safe, person-centred and effective service is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The midwives keep up their skills by working at the busier CMU at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. However, we aim to ensure no more than three or four midwives are involved in the care of an individual mother-to-be as we understand that continuity of care is important to women.

Have your say

As part of the engagement process, a public event, is being held on Tuesday 8 November 2016 in Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Staff Dining Area, Larkfield Road, Greenock, PA16 0XN. The session will run between 4pm and 7pm.

During this you can:

  • Listen to a talk from Dr. Margaret McGuire, Nurse Director, on what we are proposing to change and why. The talk will be held at 4.15pm, 5.15pm and 6.30pm.
  • Find out what services will not be affected at the Community Maternity Unit.
  • Talk to midwives and clinical managers who run the service at the Community Maternity Unit.
  • Ask questions and tell us what you think.

If you would like to attend this event please register no later than Friday 4 November 2016.

Register by: