read

Hundreds of campaigners walked from the Liverpool Women’s Hospital to the Labour Party Conference yesterday in a show of support for the ‘at risk’ hospital.

Organised by The Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital group. The group was launched after a report warned its future was at risk due to a massive financial shortfall.

The group, which calls for “no closure, no privatisation, no cuts and no merger”, has collected more than 40,000 signatures on a petition since it formed.

The march began on the corner of Grove Street and Upper Parliament Street, before marching to the Labour Party conference at the Arena and Convention Centre on the waterfront.

Lesley Mahmood, joint founder of the Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital group, said: “We want to save this hospital. We don’t accept the arguments that are being put forward.”

A spokesperson for Merseyside People’s Assembly said: “The march on Sunday was reassuring, as it showed how many people are already rightfully angry about what is happening. Whether Liverpool Women’s Hospital will be outright closed, or whether the services will be slashed and placed on a couple of wards in the new Royal Hospital, it is a choice between a vital public service lost, or a vital public services eroded.

A handful of wards can in no way replicate what the current Liverpool Women’s hospital is capable of delivering in terms of supporting the choices of Women and the care and guidance that is needed before, during and after having a baby.”

Dr Andrew Loughney, medical director at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, comments: “We would like to reassure patients and the general public that there is no threat to services here at Liverpool Women’s. A review of our services is underway which began when our midwives, doctors and nurses identified that the changing needs of women and babies means Liverpool Women’s needs to change too.

“Each year hundreds of women and babies are transferred by ambulance to other hospitals within the city because all of the care they need isn’t available at Liverpool Women’s. Although this is managed safely, it doesn’t offer women the best experience of care or meet national standards.

“During the summer, as part of the wider Healthy Liverpool programme, members of the public took part in meetings, surveys and events where they discussed the reasons why we need to change. Over 70% of those that took part said they agreed there is a clinical case for making changes, and a further 19% wanted more information to understand the issues more fully.

“Any significant change to our services won’t happen overnight, it is likely to take a few years – but it is important we start planning now to be ready for the future. There will be a 3-month consultation on any proposed changes, which we expect to take place from the start of 2017.”