Inpatient services at Shrewsbury Midwife Led Unit (MLU) are to be temporarily suspended for up to six months from 10 June due to essential remedial works.
Part of the Copthorne Building at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), where the MLU is housed, is to undergo the works to rectify a number of historic issues uncovered during a recent refurbishment.
It means that inpatient services – births and postnatal care – will have to be suspended for the duration of the work to ensure that booked in mums-to-be, new mums and babies are not disturbed, and to ensure their experience at this important time is not impacted.
In the first five months of 2019, there have been 29 births at Shrewsbury MLU.
As work progresses, we will also need to relocate outpatient services. We are currently in the process of identifying alternative accommodation at RSH for these services to minimise the disruption to our mums.
Dave Thomas, Acting Associate Director of Estates at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which runs the RSH, said: “When we carried out the recent refurbishment of the building, it uncovered a number of historic issues. These are due to the age of the building and include fire regulation works, which need to be addressed as soon as possible as they currently do not meet today’s standards.
“Unfortunately, the work being undertaken may be noisy and disruptive, and at times it may compromise the privacy of some of our patients, so we have made the decision to temporarily close this area of our hospital.
“We are working closely with Shropshire Council Local Authority Building Control to ensure that all works are done in accordance with regulations.”
All women booked to give birth at Shrewsbury MLU during the temporary suspension of services will be offered a birth at Wrekin MLU or the Consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Home births are not affected.
Women due to give birth in the next month who will be affected by the suspension of services are being contacted and will receive a follow-up letter. Other women potentially affected by the suspension will also receive a letter soon.
Anthea Gregory-Page, Deputy Head of Midwifery at SaTH, said: “It is important that we maintain the care and dignity of our mums and babies at all times. This is not a decision that has been made lightly but they are our absolute priority. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.”
Any mums-to-be affected by the changes, who have any questions, can contact their midwife.