Causeway Hospital: A public discussion about maternity services was held

Photo of a baby sleeping on a mother's chest

A public discussion about the future of the maternity services at Causeway Hospital has taken place in Portrush.

The Northern Trust, which is conducting a public consultation on its options, organized the event.

The trust claimed that Causeway Hospital and Antrim Area Hospital were currently receiving too much of its resources.

Dr. David Morgan characterized the situation as "fragile and vulnerable," adding that "change is urgently needed.".

On Wednesday night, fewer than twenty members of the public were present.

They were given a number of choices regarding the direction of the services.

Baby sleeping on mother's chest - stock photo
The Northern reports that year over year, fewer babies are being born in the Causeway Coast and Glens region.

One suggestion is to keep the antenatal and postnatal clinics at Causeway Hospital while transferring all births to Antrim Area Hospital.

The other is to transfer consultant-led deliveries to Antrim Area Hospital and create a standalone midwifery care facility at Causeway.

Birth rates in the Causeway Coast and Glens region have reportedly decreased year over year, according to The Northern Trust.

Within the next 20 years, it anticipates a 11% decrease in birth rates in the area.

According to the trust, clinicians have serious concerns about staff exposure to emergencies and the maintenance of skills in complex cases.

It has also brought attention to the challenges in finding consultants for Causeway.

On the Antrim site, The Northern Trust wants to erect a new, $150 million Women and Children's Unit.

Wednesday's meeting featured a retired nurse who spoke out against the ideas.

Is there a legitimate reason why Causeway, which is halfway between Belfast and Derry, can't be the site of a new construction?

It would, in her words, "make a lot more sense" than to ask young, expectant women to travel 40 miles to Antrim for delivery.

There is "a narrative out there - people do believe that Causeway Hospital has been very slowly but increasingly deprived of services," according to Gemma Brolly of the political party Aont.

Jennifer Welsh, chief executive of the Northern Trust, stated that she was "very clear of a vibrant future for Causeway" and that the trust would not be closing Causeway Hospital.

On March 3, the public comment period will be over.

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