Maternity unit expected to sail through review

Lagan Valley Hospital.
Lagan Valley Hospital.

Lagan Valley Hospital’s midwifery-led maternity unit is expected to get the thumbs up as it faces a review by the Health and Social Care Leadership Centre.

The routine review of provision at Lagan Valley and Downe hospitals was factored into the business case when each of the midwifery-led units was first proposed.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust said this week it was fully behind the two “hugely successful” units, while Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson was in no doubt of a postive outcome to the review.

The Trust’s Director of Hospital Services, Seamus McGoran, said: “This Trust fought hard to open these innovative units, the first of their kind in Ireland.

“The midwives have done an excellent job in building and supporting this valuable local service. We are 100% behind them and have at every opportunity urged local women to use the units.

“When these units were set up there was a requirement within the business case for an independent evaluation to be carried out. This is not surprising.

“The midwifery led unit, which caters for low-risk births, was an innovative step at the time and it is right that the population should be assured it is meeting the needs of local women.

“We believe the units have been hugely successful as they provide a community service to all local women, irrespective of where they are giving birth. Women can access ante and post-natal services, clinics, scans, educational classes and even consultant appointments on their doorstep.”

Mr Donaldson was likewise upbeat.

“This is a routine review that was always envisaged,” he said. “It’s standard practice to review after the unit’s been in place for a number of years and I have no doubt that the outome will be positive.

“I think the review will confirm the unit is a service that is delivered to a very high standard and not only should it be supported but every effort should be made to expand the number of births that take place in the unit.”