Maternity petition passes 2000 signature milestone


Jackie Porter's petition to save Winchester's maternity services from downgrade has passed the 2000 signature milestone.

Prospective Lib Dem MP Jackie Porter said: "Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition already, every voice added makes our campaign stronger."

You can sign Jackie's petition at www.winld.org.uk/maternity

Maternity services are becoming a key election issue

Maternity services are already becoming a key issue for the General Election here in Winchester with a clear dividing line between Lib Dem Jackie and Conservative Steve Brine. While Jackie is campaigning to save the services from loosing consultant cover, Mr Brine has broken his promise to protect them, backing hospital bosses over local people.

Before being elected Tory MP Steve Brine said that consultant-led maternity services would be his ‘red line’ and that “without them you don’t have a District General Hospital worthy of the name.”

Now Mr Brine is welcoming changes that will mean there is no hospital with these services in Winchester - exactly what he said he would campaign against.

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A review of hosptial services is proposing downgrading maternity provision at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester by removing consultant cover. A new hospital would be built outside Winchester, in Basingstoke and Deane.

3000 babies every year are born in Winchester and many mothers who have given birth there are dismayed by plans to remove consultant care. While midwife units are one of the best choices for low risk births, this is less than half of all pregnancies.

According to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, more than one in ten women and more than one in three first time mothers giving birth in a midwife led unit end up being transferred to a consultant led unit. No mother wants a 14 mile journey in an abulance along busy roads to the new hospital while in labour.


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