Birth centre confusion

CONFUSION over cut-off dates at the doomed Darley Birth Centre has led to a number of expectant mothers being turned away.

Health chiefs announced the unit would close at the start of July, but a number of angry mothers due before then say they have been rejected after being told March 31 was the final date for giving birth.

But a spokesperson at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust denied it was closing before the original date.

He said: “ The planned closure date for Darley Birth Centre is currently July 1. Discussions with commissioners NHS Derbyshire County will start to determine how maternity services will be offered to local women after then.

“If anybody hears otherwise, they need to ring Darley Birth Centre.”

He admitted there had been some “mis-communication” over dates, but thought it had been resolved.

Pam Wildgoose, secretary of Matlock Hospitals League of Friends said the group, which unsuccessfully spearheaded the campaign to keep the birth centre open, had been unable to get to the bottom of the issue.

She said: “We have not been able to shed any light on this so far, but it does not add up at all. We are asking the questions and we are all surprised by the confusion. We really want to find out for ourselves what is going on.”

Bonsall’s Shelley Fairey is one expectant mother due to give birth in May, but had been told she could not have her baby at the centre.

She said: “I’ve had both of my other two children there and had my hopes up.

“When I was told by my midwife that we couldn’t I was devastated.”

Matlock resident Mike Wells said his wife was distraught after being turned away, despite expecting her child in the first week of April.

He said: “It was agreed it would close at the end of June, so why are people being turned away before then? I know three people who’ve been told the same thing.”