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On behalf of families in Eastern Cheshire, Jonathan Smith has been monitoring the suspension of birthing services at Macclesfield Hospital.

Back in March last year, the East Cheshire NHS Trust Board announced that there would be a 6-month suspension.

In September, they told us that the removal of this local health service would go on longer - to Spring this year.

Now he has been informed by the Trust’s boss that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Board on 4th February took the decision to extend the suspension for yet another 6 months, making what will be 18 months in total.

He has raised four serious concerns in my reply. Chief among them is: why was such an important and sensitive decision taken at a meeting without, it seems, due notice to the public; therefore, without the opportunity for questions and proper scrutiny?

We are hugely supportive of the exceptional work by staff and managers at the hospital to tackle COVID, but disappointed in the Board’s apparent lack of willingness to be transparent when making their decisions regarding birthing services.

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