The safety of maternity services in East Sussex has improved since the DGH became a midwifery-led maternity unit, according to a report.
The document by the clinical commissioning groups (CCG) says the move back in May, which saw consultant-led care centralised at Hastings, has led to a sharp decline in serious safety incidents, which are those leading to a fatality or serious harm to patients.
A three-month review of the temporary arrangements, prepared for the governing bodies of the three East Sussex CCGs, reported a series of improvements in different areas, including staffing issues.
Dr Martin Writer, chair of Eastbourne Hailsham and Seaford CCG, said, “These are early days and we must treat the data with caution, but it does indicate that the single-siting of consultant-led maternity services is succeeding in controlling some concerning safety trends.“
CCGs will decide how these services should be arranged long-term and have been monitoring the temporary changes since May.
The report added the number of women transferred between sites during labour was around the national average and that the maternity unit at Eastbourne had seen 105 births since the changes and this had surpassed initial assumptions.
Dr Writer added, “The temporary service arrangements at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) are separate from the CCGs’ wider review of local maternity and paediatric services and no long-term decisions have been made at this stage. It is important to learn from what is working well and what needs to improve.”
The CCGs are encouraging people to read a Case for Change summary which is a clinical study of maternity and paediatric services before the changes at: www.eastbournehailshamandseafordccg.nhs.uk