Rochdale Infirmary maternity unit to close

Date published: 02 February 2011

The Maternity Unit at Rochdale Infirmary will close.

NHS North West has today (Wednesday 2 February 2011) approved the closures of maternity units in Rochdale, Bury and Salford.

The closures form part of a major shake up which will see consultant-led maternity care concentrated at eight hospitals.

The re-organisation of maternity care across Greater Manchester named Making It Better (MIB) - was approved in 2007 by the previous Labour government, but was put on hold last year by new health secretary Andrew Lansley.

A midwife-led unit will open in Salford and suggestions for similar units in Bury and Rochdale has been put forward, but a decision hasn’t been made yet.

Three ‘super centres’ will run from in Oldham, Bolton and at St Mary’s in Manchester.

The Chairwoman of Rochdale Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Jean Ashworth described the decision as “disgraceful.”

She said: “I thought we had been given a glimmer of hope but we have just been conned.

“At the end of the day it is all about money.

“My concern is that the safety and choice for these new mums has been taken away.

“Mark my words, having three super centres, is not going to work.” 

Speaking about the idea for a midwife-led unit in Rochdale, Councillor Ashworth, said: “They are going to have to do it, even if it is just temporary, not to do it is leaving the borough unsafe.”

Councillor Ashworth added: “I feel really really let down.

“This is going to instil a lot of fear and uncertainty in new mums.

“I am very disappointed but not in the least bit surprised. It proves what I have said all along – we have not been listened to.

“It is very sad.

“The gap that has been left is horrendous.”

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