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THE Board of NHS Greater Glasgow today agreed to implement a series of recommendations on maternity services that include the closing of the Queen Mother's Hospital and the transfer of services to the Princess Royal and the Southern General Maternity Hospitals.
At a meeting in Maryhill Community Central Halls, Board members approved ten recommendations that included:
· Retaining and enhancing maternity services at the Princess Royal and Southern General Maternity Hospitals and closing the Queen Mother's Hospital;
· Developing a single organisational structure to manage maternity and children's services across Greater Glasgow;
· Ensuring the quality of specialist children's services remains high and is not damaged by the closure of the Queen Mother's Hospital;
· Strengthening and developing community-based services including redeploying midwives into the community and putting in place a new public health midwifery service;
· Providing midwifery delivery beds at both maternity hospitals for use by women who are deemed to be at low risk of complications whilst giving birth;
· Asking the Maternity Services Liaison Committee to develop proposals which would enable mothers-to-be to have a choice of having their babies delivered by a consultant or midwife;
· Centralising fetal (unborn babies) medicine services at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital and retaining strong links with specialist staff at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, continuing to provide fetal medicine services to the West of Scotland and nationally;
· Working with the existing NHS Greater Glasgow transport group to address access and transport issues identified during the maternity services consultation;
· Considering the clinical advice to move the Royal Hospital for Sick Children to a site which also includes adult and maternity hospitals and developing proposals for wide public consultation by the end of 2004;
· Giving the strongest possible reassurance to staff that, although it may mean they may be working elsewhere, the recommended closure of the Queen Mother's will not mean job losses and any redeployment of staff should ensure that their skills are fully utilised.
The recommendations will now go to the Minister for Healthy and Community Care, Malcolm Chisholm, for approval.
Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow said: "The Board has now agreed to endorse the recommendations which must now go to the Health Minister for final approval. Once we are given that approval, we will be working closely with our highly talented and skilled maternity services teams to deliver the changes we need."
Sir John said that getting to a point where the Board could make a decision on the future of maternity services had been a "long and difficult process".
He said: "At the heart of the Board's decision, in responding to the need for change, we are recommending measures that are designed to give sustainable and safe services for mothers and babies."
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