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Stafford Hospital maternity fight a national issue, says MP

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 09, 2014

By Alison Thomas

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THE battle to save Stafford Hospital’s consultant-led maternity unit has national implications, according to the town’s MP.

Between 10 and 20 other English hospitals are facing the same threat - and the result could be mothers having to travel to cities to have their babies, Jeremy Lefroy warned.

“We could end up up with only cities and the largest towns having maternity units,” he said.

“That is why this is an important fight to have not just for Stafford but for the NHS as a whole.”

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The MP has asked for a meeting with Simon Stevens, the new chief executive of NHS England, to discuss the future of Stafford’s maternity service.

Mr Lefroy said the way NHS payments were calculated was skewing decisions on care, because maternity units needed at least 3,000 births a year to be able to afford consultants to staff them round the clock. Almost every obstetrics and gynaecology unit in the country was losing money, he said, in contrast to maternity units in France and Germany which ran successfully on a much smaller scale.

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