Jonathan Smith has obtained an assurance from the Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust that they intend to resume full maternity services at Macclesfield after the pandemic.
Back in March, as COVID case numbers rose, the Trust decided to suspend birthing services at Macclesfield for six months. This was understandable in the circumstances, although disappointing for expectant mothers, who would have preferred to give birth in their local hospital and had to go elsewhere.
At the end of the six-month period, the suspension was renewed, without public discussion. Jonathan has been querying this, and has now received assurances that the suspension is only temporary: that this is not a permanent strategic change. There are no promises as to when birthing services will resume - not surprisingly given the prospect of a third wave before the vaccination programme is fully operational - but there are no plans to axe these vital services.
The home birth service had also been suspended, and Jonathan also raised this issue with the CEO. He has informed Jonathan that it has now been fully re-established. This is very welcome news for those, who prefer to give birth at home rather than in hospital.
We owe a great deal to the NHS and its workers. We should support them, not only today by taking precautions to reduce the risk of infection, but tomorrow by fighting the plans to sell off parts of it to rapacious, USA-based, private healthcare companies.