THERE will be four on-call midwives in Pembrokeshire overnight as part of changes which will see the birthing unit at Withybush Hospital closed out of hours unless a woman has rung ahead.

Head of midwifery for Hywel Dda Health Board Julie Jenkins told members of the community health council the changes were about “continuity of care”  and its benefits to mother and baby.

“The team currently in the free-standing midwife-led unit will be coming out into the community as an integrated approach.

“There are already two community teams, there will be a third for those women who want a home birth or freestanding unit.

“There will be three teams on call 24/7 to have that choice,” she added on Wednesday (Aug 7).

Ms Jenkins said it would allow midwives to “get to know our women like the old system” with expectant mothers discussing their birth plans in detail with full information to make informed choices.

The MLU will still be used for clinics but changes will be made for those going into labour overnight.

Deputy chief officer of Hywel Dda CHC Helen Williams said the plans were “not classed as a service change because women can still access the MLU in Haverfordwest.”

She added the CHC wanted to see an operational plan and evidence of engagement with women, which was currently being prepared.

This will include what number women will call when in labour and ensuring communication with the ambulance service continues.

“This won’t start until Christmas,” said Ms Jenkins. “We have to get the care pathways in place.”

 

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