"Community Hospitals"

About: Trowbridge

(as a relative),

We had our first child born at Trowbridge. It was a great experience. Since then we've kept hearing stories about how the maternity wing may close. Please can you confirm or deny these rumours.

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Responses

Response from Wiltshire PCT

Kennet and North Wiltshire and West Wiltshire Primary Care Trusts have now answered your question:

Apologies for the long response, but we felt the question needed answering fully.

Concerns about closure of Trowbridge maternity unit may have arisen because West Wiltshire PCT gained the approval of its board, on November 29, that it could give 12 months formal notice to the commissioners that West Wiltshire PCT would stop being the provider of maternity services.

Currently, West Wiltshire PCT provides maternity services for people living in West Wiltshire, Kennet & North Wiltshire, Bath & North East Somerset and Mendip. In other words, West Wiltshire PCT runs its own maternity services and also provides maternity services for other trusts. For example, the maternity service at the RUH is actually provided, on behalf of Bath and North East Somerset, by West Wiltshire PCT.

In most parts of the country, maternity services are provided by the local general hospital (like the RUH in Bath, Great Western Hospital in Swindon, or Salisbury District Hospital). In those cases, the general hospital also provides a range of community-based services (in places like Trowbridge), with well established links back to the general hospital facility where there is the backup of obstetric expertise.

Aside from providing services, West Wiltshire PCT’s major role is to commission appropriate health services to meet the diverse needs of its population. At the moment, West Wiltshire PCT, along with Kennet & North Wiltshire PCT, are carrying out a strategic review of the services they commission and how these should be provided in future (the process is called Pathways for Change). Maternity services are a part of the review. No formal plans or proposed changes to Trowbridge Maternity Unit, or any other Maternity Service, have been published to date. The commissioners are looking at what kind of services they should be providing in West Wiltshire, based on the needs of the population and best clinical practice. Both PCTs expect to have their plans for changes to services ready for public consultation in the spring this year.

At its public board meeting in November the PCT decided it wanted to give 12 months notice that it does not want to be the organisation responsible for providing maternity services in the future: to West Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, Kennet and North Wiltshire or Mendip. West Wiltshire PCT has not yet served that notice.

In addition, there will not be any change in the provider of maternity services until we have agreed an appropriate organization to take over the responsibility.

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