The NHS is today (29 June 2016) asking the public to share their views as part of a review of services provided at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
It’s the next stage in a process to improve care for women and newborn babies, which was announced in March 2016.
This engagement will provide information about the reasons why nurses, doctors and midwives believe that changes are necessary and invite people to comment on whether they understand and support the case for change.
Liverpool Women’s opened more than 20 years ago and the needs of patients have changed in that time. Women are living longer and having babies later in life, while advances in medicine mean more premature and unwell babies are surviving when they wouldn’t have in the past.
Not all of the care needed to treat these increasingly complex needs is available at Liverpool Women’s, so women and newborn babies have to be transferred to other local hospitals, often by ambulance. This means that Liverpool Women’s is unable to meet national care standards in a number of areas.
The hospital is also facing financial challenges that can’t be resolved within current arrangements.
Dianne Brown, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, said: “This isn’t about cutting services, this is about our midwives, nurses and doctors wanting to make what we have even better.
“The care we provide now is safe, but this is because staff are working incredibly hard to work around some of the problems we face and this is not a long-term solution. We want every single woman that accesses our services to have the very best experience possible, and that means reducing the need to be transferred between hospitals by ambulance when seriously ill.
“We know that women and families who use and depend on our services are passionate about them, and so are we. It’s really important to us that the public get involved in this process and help us to make the changes we need to give Liverpool and Merseyside services that are the very best they can be.”
Dr Fiona Lemmens from NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, which is leading the review of services as part of the Healthy Liverpool programme, said: “While many women will have a positive experience at Liverpool Women’s, we know that the experience for certain groups of patients, in particular the most seriously ill women and babies who require complex care, is not as good as it could be.
“We think the women and newborn babies of Liverpool deserve the best services, which meet the highest standards – if we don’t change we can’t meet those standards.
“No decisions have been made yet and we need the public to share their views this summer to help us develop options.”
People have until Monday 15 August to share their views. More information and an online questionnaire is available here or by calling 0151 296 7537 to request a paper copy or alternative formats.
The following public events are taking place:
Places at the events can only be guaranteed if people book a place in advance. They can do this online here or by calling 0151 296 7537.
Views gathered during July and August will be used to develop a number of possible options for delivering women’s and newborn babies’ services in the future. These will be subject to formal public consultation, which is currently expected to happen in late 2016 or early 2017.
We welcome your comments on this story but please note that in order for your views to be heard as part of this engagement exercise you will need to respond to the dedicated questionnaire available here.
Whilst every hospital has Good staff and bad staff, I can honestly say I've had an amazing experience and an experience I wouldn't wish on my own enemy. The problem with the hospital is that some staff are disillusioned probably due to budget cuts, the food is awful, there is a lack of joined up care (which can result in a patient being shunted to the Royal as its not a gyne problem only to be shunted back to the women's because it is), and those patients with complex health find them spread across several different hospitals with disjointed care. I don't dispute that there should be a specialist women's hospital but question why of all places it was decided to be placed in toxteth! Public transport routes are practically none existent, and often result in several buses to get there or an expensive taxi ride. Jefcote suit I found outdated with poor staffing. The rooms where stuffy and I felt extremely isolated as a new mum. First time mums got much more support than with my second. From the gynaecology ward I found outdated. 6 in a room (there were smaller ones) no entertainment, no wifi, lack of privacy and the bathroom facilities where awful. I wouldn't expect a private room for a day case but when I developed post-operative infection I ended up in a ward for 4 days with nothing to do, and in a room with a lady that snored. Despite closing the curtains for privacy I found that these were drawn back repeatedly by other patients. Appointment times, are often during incomvient times due to transport issues, and on top of this have nearly always run late - on occasion over 2 hours!! Whilst I understand that care can be complex and some patients need longer time; it is unacceptable to have to wait that long and not be given sufficient updates unless you go to see the reception is on the clinic who is often annoyed they you've interrupted their gossip / play on phone time. Perhaps longer appointment slots should be given to prevent this from occurring. Finally the food. Whoever in the right mind gave G4S that catering contract needs shooting. Unhealthy meal choices, often cold and a lack of drinkable tap water (not that Liverpool has the greatest but still!) additionally considering it's a hospital, having vending machines full of chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks seems stupid! Other local hospitals have fresh fruit vending machines for out of hours so I fail to understand given that reception and the machines have been replaced / moved recently why they haven't added this instead.
Desperately needed, this place needs to be saved. I wouldn't be listening to my beautiful daughter playing if it wasn't for the care, support and time of the hospitals and the underpaid nurses. I cannot thank you all enough. Save the hospital and save so many lives.
I can't believe that this hospital is even thinking of closing. I was there with my premature babies in 2010 and neonatal was full. Where are the ladies and babies going to go? They can't be split up. You can't breast feed in different hospitals!!!
I have visited the women's hospital numerous times in the last few years, both as a patient and visitor. Ive always been treated with the utmost care and respect and staff are always professional and considerate of people's needs. It would be a disaster to get rid of this hospital... it is perfectly situated so people in and around the city can access it without any problem. Other hospitals I have had to visit more recently have been nearer the city centre. I have been late for appointments due to congested traffic and staff have been less friendly and just seem to want to rush people through. A shame to lose something so great. Save the Women's Hospital!
I can't believe people are even considering the future of this hospital, I've had treatment for a precancerous condition, I've had 3 miscarriages, 2 healthy babies lost my son at birth. I also lost my mum to ovarian cancer there. I've never been treated with anything but respect. I will never forget the care I was given and how even at the worst times of my life the nurses and Dr's in that place treated me, my husband and the rest of my family with complete dedication and dignity. I've always received the best service. I've always experienced the highest of service.
For one Liverpool has always had a woman's hospital with doctors who specialise in child birth and womans gynealogical issues. I have had children and also gynealogical operations. Both required Consultants who specialised in these areas. Although these procedures are fairly common not all qualified surgeons can perform in such delicate and important area of a woman's body.it is important for this to be housed under one roof and together. it was important to my health and wellbeing both mentally and physically knowing I was in the best possible hands. With staff who concentrate solely in these areas. The staff are dedicated and work so hard. I dread the thought and possibility that we could loose such a vital and important hospital. Woman give birth and can have complications during pregnancy, after pregnancy and into old age sometimes because of giving birth and so need we need a specialised hospital separate from the main hospital to cater for all the woman's issues for safety for dignity and for the specialised consultants, Doritos, and nurses too. It was be disastrous if we were to loose it.
It is my experience that patients prefer to use facilities close to where they live. Previously the women who lived in the North of the City enjoyed using facilities at Aintree Hospital until it was merged with Liverpool Womens. The women using those facilities had access to emergency services on site as well as blood labs, etc and were then, without much consultation, forced to use facilities at the Womens. On reflection that doesn't appear to have been done on a 'Best Interest' basis. How feasible would it be to restore facilities in Aintree for the women who live in the North and move the Womens into the RLH to serve the women who live in the centre and south of the City?
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