Trust calls off maternity services move to Lancaster

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The district’s health trust has called off plans to move maternity services and a special care baby unit from Barrow to Lancaster.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust was the subject of widespread criticism after announcing the move last Thursday.

But it announced on Tuesday afternoon services would be retained at Furness General Hospital and not shift to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after securing safe staffing levels.

Interim trust chair Sir David Henshaw said: “The trust and the wider NHS have been working hard and have pulled together to assist with the staffing issues in the Special Care Baby Unit (SBCU) at Furness General Hospital (FGH).

“We are pleased to announce that as a result of this team effort, we have been able to secure additional experienced, qualified neonatal nurses in order to safely staff SCBU at FGH.

“Both SCBU and consultant-led maternity services are running as before and women should attend as previously advised.

“On behalf of the trust and its partners, I would like to sincerely thank the public, staff, and in particular, those women who were most affected by recent events.”

Jackie Daniel, chief executive, said: “The trust board, together with its NHS partners, will be constantly monitoring the situation and working on robust plans to ensure safe, sustainable staffing levels can be maintained.

“We will keep the public, governors, staff and stakeholders fully informed of any developments.”