Agenda item

North Central London Start Well Programme Consultation

Report of North Central London Start Well Programme Director



The Board received a report which set out North Central London Integrated Care Board and NHS England (London) Specialised Commissioning consultation options for proposed changes in relation to maternity, neonatal and Children’s Surgical Services in North Central London.  The report set out the possible impact on Harrow residents, the approach to the consultation and how residents, staff and stakeholders could provide feedback on the proposals.


Anna Stewart, North Central London Start Well Programme Director, gave a presentation to the Board emphasising that no decisions had been made and that any comments/questions would be submitted as part of the consultation.  Tim Hodgson, Medical Director, University College London Hospital, explained that colleagues had been working together on the Start well Programme for two years.


During the presentation, the Board was advised how maternity and neonatal services were organised across North Central London, the clinical drivers for the proposed changes, the vision for maternity and neonatal care and the options for consultation, with the preference for Option A .  Option A would mean the closure of maternity and neonatal services at the Royal Free Hospital and the impact for Harrow of this option was set out on page 71 of the papers, that is, 124 residents would be affected.


Anna Stewart, during her presentation, reported that there was a separate consultation on the closure of Edgware Birth Centre.  Whilst the centre was well used for the purposes of antenatal and post-natal care and there were no proposed changes to those services, during the last financial year there had been 34 births.


Following the presentation, members of the Board asked questions and made comments which were responded to as follows:-


·                 The decline in usage of the Edgware Birth Centre for births might be due to the increase in complexity of births.  The birth needed to be low risk and the number eligible had declined with a similar decline in units across London.  The consultation had shown that women wanted the infrastructure/ support in place in case complications with the birth arose;

·                 In terms of planned deliveries at the Centre having to be transferred to a hospital due to complications with the delivery, the transfer rate was approximately 18% which was in line with other midwife units.  The Medical Director advised that midwives and obstetricians were skilled in determining any issues / risks and if the delivery did not go as planned the patient would be transferred. Women wanted to have choice but in a safe environment;

·                 There was a range of patient choice across London with most opting for a local option;

·                 In response to a question as to whether there had been any analysis of how Harrow residents would be affected, the Board were advised that there had been an integrated impact assessment based on catchment areas.  Anna Stewart undertook to check whether any particular community in Harrow would be affected.


The Board thanked the officers for their presentation.  The Chair requested that the Managing Director of Harrow Borough Based Partnership liaise with the Communications Team about including information on the proposals in the weekly newsletter.


RESOLVED:  That the report and presentation be noted.

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