Distraction to real issue?

PUBLISHED: 13:59 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:07 16 June 2010

Much has been made by the NHS of so-called myths circulating about the proposed downgrade in service at Honiton maternity unit, which would see mums sent home within a few hours of giving birth.

Much has been made by the NHS of so-called myths circulating about the proposed downgrade in service at Honiton maternity unit, which would see mums sent home within a few hours of giving birth.

Despite this service cut, set to start at the end of September, staffing shortages mean that mums cannot currently stay overnight.

Countless emails and Facebook postings from mums show that there is widespread confusion about the current situation. Partly down to the woolly information continuing to emerge from the NHS and partly due to several weeks during March when the NHS did not answer people's questions and would only repeat the following meaningless platitudes. That the changes "were good news for mums, would mean more choice for mums and would offer a seamless service for mums".

Ironically, there can be no greater myths than the ones above. It is interesting that every time an NHS spokesperson is quoted about this issue, the same 'myths' line is trotted out, which is a huge shame for local mums who feel insulted by the implications of this message. It is also a convenient distraction from the real issue, which is that a much-loved public service is set to be lost, against the wishes of thousands of local people.

It is crystal clear that local people want this service to remain. It is now the responsibility of the NHS to prove it is listening, reverse its plans and return our gold-standard overnight maternity service.

The Honiton Maternity Matters Campaign


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