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“Speedy access” essential for expectant mums

speedy accessAT LEAST eight pregnant women a week are being transferred from midwife-run maternity to consultant-led units in Wales, a survey by Plaid Cymru has revealed.

The party submitted a Freedom of Information request to all Welsh health boards.

The responses from four heath boards, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Aneurin Bevan, Cwm Taf and Powys revealed that more than 1,700 transfers had taken place over the past five years with 455 during 2012.

Cwm Taf said that since its birth centre had been sited next to a hospital, more women had chosen to use the birth centre.

In Cardiff & the Vale, the Midwifery Led Unit (MLU) at UHW is next to the delivery site in UHW. Transfer rates have ranged from 25.3% to 37% over the last five years.Betsi Cadwaladr said that it did not keep centralised figures on transfers. At the moment, Hywel Dda LHB does not have any midwife-led units. It plans to provide midwife-led services at Withybush General Hospital and consultant-led services at Glangwili, 33 miles and 50 minutes away.

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Spokesperson on Health, said:

“Although midwife-led units are safe, it is vital that there is speedy access to consultants when complications arise.

“The responses from the health boards show that a considerable number of pregnant women need to be transferred from midwife-maternity units when complications occur.”