A campaign to protect Oswestry’s maternity unit will be stepped up after a countywide midwifery review got the go-ahead.
Liz Grayson, a mother-of-four who established Save Oswestry Maternity Unit at the end of last year, warned health bosses that people will not take lying down any plan to downgrade the town’s midwife-led unit to a birthing centre.
It would mean the unit, based at the Orthopaedic Hospital, would be open during the day as usual, but would require a midwife to come out and open the unit should a woman go into labour at night.
Following a meeting with the Oswestry Health Group on Friday, which saw members of the Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group – who granted the review two days earlier – in attendance, Mrs Grayson said she felt the fight to protect services was more alive than ever and called on more people to back the campaign.
She told the Advertizer: “We are unique in Shropshire to have these units, but that doesn’t mean we should let them go without a fight because they give so much support.
“If they went elsewhere, we wouldn’t get it to the same standard of care.
“It is good in some ways that this being pushed out into the open and the review is something we can now definitely fight against, but I’m now convinced they are right when they say there are no plans to close Oswestry at the moment.”
Mrs Grayson also urged people to write to North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, who chairs the Oswestry Health Group.
She added: “It’s important we get our views across.”
Last Wednesday’s CCG meeting was told the countywide review will be completed by July.
Oswestry’s midwife-led unit (MLU) is one of five across Shropshire to be looked at over the coming months in terms of its sustainability, safety and value for money.
As well as reviewing the sites, which include Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury and Telford, there will also be scope for how they link with the community hubs in Whitchurch and Market Drayton.
The county’s Clinical Commissioning Group will then be charged with recommending for a future midwifery model.
A march to support the campaign will take place in Cae Glas Park from 11am on Saturday, while the petition has topped 4,000 names.
It is available at the Advertizer office and online at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/175669