GREATER Glasgow NHS Board today heard submissions and recommendations on the future of Glasgow's maternity services.
At a meeting in the Community Central Halls in Maryhill, the Board was given a series of presentations by midwives, the Maternity Services Users Network (MATNET) and the Modernising Maternity Services Working Group.
Chaired by Professor Margaret Reid of the University of Glasgow, the independent Working Group then put forward a series of recommendations including the transfer of maternity services from the Queen Mother's Hospital to the Southern General Hospital site.
Board members will now take away these recommendations for consideration and will make a decision based on the evidence presented to them at the next Board meeting on October 21, 2003 (at the same venue).
Following this there will be a three month public consultation on the proposed option.
NHS Greater Glasgow Chairman, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott said: "Modernising maternity services is about improving the services we provide. It's about investment in a whole range of services - more than just bricks and mortar.
"Part of the evidence presented to the Board reflected that the Health Service in Greater Glasgow has led the way in community maternity care in Scotland and, in this regard, is a leading light. It was clear from the Maternity Services Users Network and the midwives from across Greater Glasgow that they regarded the continued development of the community services as crucial to the modernisation of maternity services.
"After many weeks of thorough evidence gathering for independent clinical experts across the spectrum, we are now seeking the best way forward to improve clinical care and develop community services for every mother and child in Greater Glasgow.
"On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank everyone who has taken the trouble to present submissions and assure them that we will give them our deepest and sincerest consideration. We are now making our deliberations before our Board meeting on October 21 before launching a three month consultation process."ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Two years ago, following widespread consultation with women's groups and medical professionals, it was agreed two maternity units should serve Glasgow.
Pressures on the midwifery, obstetric, neonatal and anaesthetic workforces are such that change is essential.
This leaves a tough choice: either the Southern General Maternity Hospital or the Queen Mother's Maternity must close. Both are excellent hospitals and both provide a good range of local and regional services, but these services can be better provided with proper resources and staffing for the long-term from one site.
The Maternity Services Review will move forward during the month of October. Two meetings - including the one today - are taking place after which the consultation period will begin and run until the end of January 2004.
The consultation process will be thorough and inclusive, offering everyone from MSPs and maternity network groups to clinicians and Glasgow mothers to have their say on the future of maternity services in the city.
Media Information: Dawn Nelson on 0141 201 4912 or [email protected]