What progress on midwifery unit?

[Photo credit: House of Commons photographer]

Here’s a pointed question to a Health minister from Bath MP Wera Hobhouse.

When is the city going to get its long-promised midwifery unit at the Royal United Hospital. This was at a Department of Health and Social Care questions time and as part of a question about maternity care in the South West.

A Minister responded by highlighting two projects that were receiving funding, one in Cornwall and the other in Wiltshire. 

Bath’s MP asked the Government directly when the RUH and the city would be getting its long-promised midwifery unit and for the Government to fund its establishment. Residents were promised a new birthing unit in 2020, but three years later it is still not up and running. 

In her response, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care, Maria Caufield, highlighted that the Government was investing in maternity care nationwide and pointed specifically to new provisions in Cornwall and Wiltshire as proof of this investment reaching the South West. 

The Minister did say that she would be happy to write to Bath’s commissioning group to find out the progress on the maternity provisions in the constituency. She could not provide a specific update in response to the MP for Bath’s question immediately from the despatch box, however. 

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, commented:

“The Government once again has shown just how out of touch they are. Investment in Cornwall and Wiltshire is not going to compensate for three years of a lack of provision in Bath. 

“Direct funding from NHS England and the Government is needed to get maternity services in the city off the ground. It is the very least my constituents deserve.

“This delay on crucial investment is typical of a Conservative Government that has starved the health service of resources at every turn. That trend needs to be reversed, and they can start by giving the RUH its long-promised and overdue maternity-led unit.”

1 Comment

  1. Regarding Wera Hobhouse’s claim that The Government has ‘starved the health service’. Could she please provide some evidence of this ‘starvation’.
    As I understand it, funding for the NHS has increased year on year.
    Some data would be appreciated. It is too easy for politicians to make comments like these in parliament and which will certainly grab a headline but without the numbers to back up her claim this is of little use to those of us who take an interest in these matters.
    I have family who work in the NHS so do have a little information from the ‘shop floor’.

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