PARENTS and residents have given their backing to Hartlepool’s maternity unit after a dramatic drop in the number of town births.
We reported on our front page yesterday of fresh fears for the future of the midwife-led unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
It is after hospital managers produced figures showing the number of babies being born in Hartlepool has fallen from 1,009 in 2007-08 to just 165 in 2013-14.
It follows the transfer of consultant led maternity services to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.
Hartlepool now only accepts mums-to-be classed as low risk.
Readers were quick to offer their support for the midwives at Hartlepool on the Mail’s website and through Facebook.
I’d have loved to have given birth at Hartlepool but had to go to North TeesParent Dawn Barclay
On Facebook Dawn Barclay said: “I had no choice with my last two, I’d have loved to have given birth at Hartlepool but had to go to North Tees its not that birth rates are plummeting its the fact that they send everyone to North Tees.”
Nicola Winwood said “Hartlepool has no doctors so it’s not worth the risk if anything goes wrong”. She added: “Open it properly with the proper staff then problem solved.”
Nicola Filby praised Hartlepool’s maternity staff. She said: “I had my little girl there almost two year ago, was a lovely place to be and the midwives were very nice and caring.”
Tracy Watling added: “I have to go to North Tees for my baby in the next couple of months and not happy about it as both my older two were born at Hartlepool.”
Kelly Fisk added: “I feel sorry for the midwifes in North Tees as they are run ragged, all because there is no doctors at Hartlepool hospital.”
Christina Weatherill said: “Birthing has been medicalised too much and women have been scared into thinking they will have complications so are biasing toward delivery at North Tees. Disgusted by this.”
Norma Rogan said: “Bit by bit the trust are taking our hospital away this should not be happing we have to keep up the fight to get the services back were they belong in Hartlepool.”
On hartlepoolmail.co.uk, reader dpdd said: “Not having fully functioning maternity unit and A&E in Hartlepool only adds extra strain to North Tees and ambulance services.”
Website member prole added: “In other words, not many Hartlepool mothers are happy to gamble the life of their child never mind themselves.
“How stupid was it to expect anything else?”