Grantham Hospital: NHS recommends closure of birthing unit

The birthing unit at Grantham Hospital in Lincolnshire is expected to close under recommendations put forward by NHS Lincolnshire.

Women would be sent to other hospitals in Boston, Lincoln, Nottingham or Melton if the unit closes.

Hospital bosses said there were only 100 births at the unit from April 2011 to March 2012 compared to almost 4,000 in Lincoln.

All antenatal and postnatal care would remain in Grantham, the NHS said.

NHS Lincolnshire will hold a consultation on the proposed changes to maternity services at the hospital.

The current birthing unit at Grantham "works to the same criteria as a home birth" so only women who have no complications in their pregnancies and have a straightforward birth can use the unit.

Dr Richard Gent of the South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We have undertaken a considerable amount of work reviewing services in and around Grantham Hospital to ensure we plan for safe and high quality services for local people."

The figures for births at Grantham Hospital compares to 3,897 at Lincoln and 2,160 at Boston, the NHS report said.

In 2007, the NHS said a target of 300 births was needed to keep the unit open.

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