Pregnant women registered with all GP practices will now be able to give birth at Walsall Manor Hospital if they choose after restrictions were released.
A birthing cap was introduced in 2016 to reduce the number of births at the hospital and ensure the safety and stability of Maternity Services
Following an improved CQC rating last year and the ongoing efforts of staff and senior leaders, Walsall Healthcare is now able to release these restrictions
It means that from today, Monday 1 April 2019, the trust will increase its birth rate to its capping level of 4,200 each year and will start accepting bookings from all GP practices for any pregnant women who wish to give birth at Walsall Manor Hospital. Low risk women who are already booked to deliver at another trust who would like to birth at the Manor Hospital can also request a transfer. This had previously been restricted.
Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health Nicola Wenlock said: “We have been closely monitoring and reviewing the number of births here – mindful of the fact that restrictions have reduced the choice for some pregnant women. By relaxing these restrictions we can now offer women a greater choice while maintaining the cap at 4,200 and ensuring the provision of safe, high quality care.”
Clinical Director Mr Fateh Ghazal added: “We have been successful in appointing to all four consultant vacancies and continue to recruit to midwifery and medical vacancies.
“We will regularly monitor and review these arrangements and would encourage pregnant women who do want to give birth at Walsall Manor Hospital to ensure they book early with their GP or Community Midwife.”
The birth rate over the last year has been just over 3,500.
The trust is also considering the re-opening of its Midwifery-Led Unit later this year.