'Difficult time' for midwives

PUBLISHED: 11:54 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 01:14 16 June 2010

THE campaign to preserve in-patient maternity services in Honiton is giving the town s community hospital a bad reputation

THE campaign to preserve in-patient maternity services in Honiton is giving the town's community hospital "a bad reputation".

That is what the hospital's maternity matron said when she addressed the annual meeting of Honiton Hospital League of Friends.

"Unfortunately, we have had a difficult time of late," said G Riall.

After the management of the birthing unit's services was transferred to the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, there were problems with staffing.

Ms Riall said: "We have had quite a lot of sickness and I have had to take midwives off the night shift, and we won't be accepting any patient transfers."

The meeting heard that the unit needed to "target care to vulnerable women and those who really need it".

"It is just changing the culture and expectations. If there is a clinical need, patients will be admitted to hospital in Exeter," Ms Riall said.

Former Mayor of Honiton Joanna Bull was concerned the NHS was not properly explaining the situation to the public.

She told the meeting: "I am concerned this hasn't been properly explained.

"People cannot comprehend this is just another way of dealing with a situation.

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