Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust have
announced a temporary two month suspension of their midwife led
unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital.
Director of Nursing
Laura Robson said: "Although most women
in the Bishop Auckland area have their babies at the consultant led
maternity unit in Darlington , the midwife led unit is a popular
choice for around 350 women a year who have low risk
"The MLU operates
with a small group of staff. Some staff have left the unit, and
although we are recruiting replacements, these will not be in post
until the beginning of September. We also have a small number of
our experienced staff suffering some long term health
"This means that,
between 2 July and 5 September we do not have enough midwives to
cover all rotas safely. This means we cannot guarantee safe care 24
hours a day for women using the unit.
"We have taken steps
including moving midwives from Durham and Darlington - but, given
that high risk deliveries take place there we need to keep staffing
levels safe there too.
"The Trust is
contacting the women who are booked to have their babies in the
midwife led unit to discuss alternative birth plans, including
midwife led delivery in Durham or Darlington.
"This is a temporary
difficulty and we are planning for the unit to reopen in