Mums quiz NHS at first meeting

Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre
Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre

Families have had their first chance to interrogate health chiefs over the future of Darley’s threatened birth centre.

A lively debate took place at in Darley Dale, as campaigners, mums, dads and supporters eager to have their say flocked to the Whitworth Centre.

Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre

Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre

The first public meeting to discuss the midwife-led unit, which is under threat of closure, was led by David Black, medical director of NHS Derbyshire.

He was questioned about the centre not being promoted adequately and what services would be in place if it closed.

Mums also raised fears about breast feeding support being lost and help dealing with postnatal depression. They praised the birth centre for being on hand when needed either night or day.

One mum said: “I was not able to stay at Chesterfield to recover fully and I was not in a state to go home after surgery but I was able to go to Darley.

Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre

Conference public meeting regarding Darley Birthing Centre

“My concern is had Darley not been available where would I have gone?

“If a service such as Darley was not provided to give postnatal care there will be an increase in cases of postnatal depression.”

A breast feeding support volunteer added: “I think breast feeding figures will drop if Darley closes. There is no paid support in this area. I think there will be long term implications for breast feeding.”

Darley Dale GP Ben Milton said: “Clearly there are issues around antenatal care and issues around breast feeding.

“We are committed to making sure that if the unit closes that we make sure we do the best we can in terms of providing antenatal and postnatal support.”

Dr Black thanked people for attending the meeting and said all the comments would be considered in the review.

Pam Wildgoose secretary of Matlock Hospitals League of Friends, said: “We appreciated that all the mums turned up and the range of questions asked.

“We’ve still had no proper suggestions on how the services are going to be provided if Darley closes and how they will be able to afford to run them in a different place.”