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Maternity services stopped at hospital following concerns over some births

A review is under way into a small number of births at Lagan Valley Hospital.

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Maternity services at the Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn have been temporarily stopped following concerns about a small number of births (Liam McBurney/PA)

Maternity services at the Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn have been temporarily stopped following concerns about a small number of births (Liam McBurney/PA)

Maternity services at the Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn have been temporarily stopped following concerns about a small number of births (Liam McBurney/PA)

Midwifery-led maternity services at the Lagan Valley hospital in Co Antrim are to be temporarily stopped following concerns about a small number of births at the unit.

A spokesperson for the South Eastern health and social care trust said ante-natal and post-natal services would continue at the Lisburn hospital.

The spokesperson said: “Expectant mothers will be offered alternative care, including midwifery-led care in the home from home unit in the Ulster Hospital.

“The South Eastern trust is taking this precautionary action because of concerns that have been raised about a very small number of cases who have birthed in the unit.

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The Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn opened its midwifery unit in 2011 (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn opened its midwifery unit in 2011 (Liam McBurney/PA)

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The Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn opened its midwifery unit in 2011 (Liam McBurney/PA)

“These cases are under active review and we are engaging with the families involved.

“We understand this decision may be disappointing for both staff in the unit and expectant mothers, however the trust has taken this temporary action in the interest of patient safety, pending the outcome of these reviews.

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“All expectant mothers scheduled to give birth in the midwifery-led unit in the Lagan Valley Hospital and all staff impacted by this temporary action are being contacted by the trust.”

The midwifery-led unit was first opened in 2011 with midwifes replacing a consultant-led service.

The trust said on average eight births take place in the unit each month.

The spokesperson said: “The trust is unable to comment at the moment while the reviews are under way.

“It will however provide further updates when the reviews are complete.”

Karen Murray, director for Northern Ireland at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said the decision would be very disappointing for women due to give birth on the unit.

Safety concerns within any service must be looked at as a matter of the utmost urgency so we welcome the investigation announced by the trust

She added: “Any concerns about safety must take priority.

“The important thing now is to ensure alternative arrangements are being made quickly in discussion with the women affected.

“Safety concerns within any service must be looked at as a matter of the utmost urgency so we welcome the investigation announced by the trust.

“The RCM will work with the trust throughout this process which we hope will be resolved quickly, and that it will give reassurance to women using the unit and those in the area who may do so in the future.

“We will also be supporting our members working on the unit through what will also be a difficult time for them.”


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