'Irreversible stress': Nearly 2,000 oppose move to suspend Cranham and Upminster midwifery service 

Beth Marmoy-Haynes, who is pregnant with her second child

Beth Marmoy-Haynes, who is pregnant with her second child, said the decision to suspend the team is causing 'significant stress' on those the midwives care for - Credit: Beth Marmoy-Haynes

Nearly 2,000 people have called for the local NHS trust to reverse its decision to disperse the 24-hour midwifery team across its other boroughs. 

The Cranham and Upminster team of midwives, which provides 24-hour service to pregnant women, was established by the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) in 2019. 

Officially known as the midwifery continuity of carer model (MCoC), the trust has decided to suspend its services due to a recommendation in the Ockenden review written in the wake of the failure of maternity practices at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. 

In his stakeholder update on May 13, BHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer announced the service will be suspended from May 23. 

He added: “We cannot sustain a service where in one borough there is a midwife for every 36 women compared to another of our boroughs of one to 150. We need to use our resources fairly and where the most benefit will be delivered.” 

Matthew Trainer, the incoming chief executive at Queen's and King George Hospitals.

Matthew Trainer, the chief executive at of BHRUT, which manages Queen's and King George hospitals - Credit: BHRUT

Beth Marmoy-Haynes, 24, from Cranham, said the service the team provides is “vital”, and the plan risks leaving many mums-to-be in the area “vulnerable, anxious and without the support they have been receiving”. 

She said support from the team made a huge difference to her own experiences. 

During her first pregnancy from 2015 to 2016, she did not have that support and said the birth was “so traumatic” that it triggered ongoing mental health issues. 

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Currently pregnant with her second child due in July, Beth said she felt “assured and relaxed that this birth would be different”. 

Beth said: "What I think is really, really bad is they have decided this and it’s as of Monday, so it’s not giving anyone any notice or warning of what’s coming.” 

She added the decision is causing “significant stress” on women who, like herself, are due to have the care taken away. 

“The stress they are causing now is irreversible,” she added. 

Since the announcement, a petition opposing the decision has garnered almost 2,000 signatures. 

Beth says this shows the value of the service: “For me, I have got all this excitement. But then, the fear leading up to the birth is what I am afraid of.” 

View it at www.change.org/p/save-our-midwives