Maternity services in Mid Ulster were removed in 2006 in the name of questionable safety risks, fast forward 6 years and for the first 3 quarter in 2012, 10% of all still births in Northern Ireland are to mothers resident in the Mid Ulster area.
The First 3 quarters has seen 80 still births across the province, 20 of these are to mothers normally resident in the Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT). Of these 20, 8 occurred to Mid Ulster resident mothers, 5 from Magherafelt and 3 form Cookstown.
In the 4 quarters of 2011 Northern Ireland 91 still births occurred, 14 of which were to mothers resident in the NHSCT area. The Mid Ulster area seen 5 still births, 2 in Cookstown and 3 in Magherafelt
NHSCT accounted for 15% of all still births in Northern Ireland in 2011 (4 quarters)
NHSCT accounted for 25% of all still births in Northern Ireland for the first 3 quarters of 2012
Mid Ulster (Cookstown & Magherafelt LGD) accounted 5.5% of all still births in Northern Ireland in 2011 (4 quarters)
Mid Ulster (Cookstown & Magherafelt LGD) accounted for 10% of all still births in Northern Ireland for the first 3 quarters of 2012
Cookstown has the Highest Birth Rate (per 1,000 of the population) within the NHSCT with a rate of 11.2 for the first 3 quarters of 2012
Magherafelt has the second Highest Birth Rate (per 1,000 of the population) within the NHSCT with a rate of 10.7 for the first 3 quarters of 2012
There has to be serious and instant moves by the Health Minister and NHSCT to ensure that these figures are fully addressed and that figures do not continue to rise. Although there are several reasons why stillbirths occur there is an obvious issue here as stillbirth rates are on the increase and have remained high in the Mid Ulster area since the removal of maternity services in 2006 . The Mid Ulster areas of Magheraflet and Cookstown have among the highest birth rates in Northern Ireland yet only limited services are provided at the Mid Wife led unit at the Mid Ulster Hospital. Save The Mid have responded to the health review Transforming Your Care and have included in its recommendations the introduction of a Mid Wife led delivery service similar to the one opened in Lagan Valley Hospital in 2011. Since the removal of maternity services at Mid Ulster the capacity of maternity at both Antrim and Causeway hospitals have both declined. In a FOI gained by Save The Mid it showed that emergency calls that originate in Mid Ulster has seen mothers taken across the province with 7 of the 32 calls resulting in the mothers being taken to Altnagelvin (http://savethemid.weebly.com/uploads/7/4/7/7/7477841/foi-43_transportation_of_pregnant_women_bt45_49_80.pdf) .
As shown in our response there is also a reliance on the ambulance service to take pregnant mothers to hospital, In 26 of the 32 cases, the 'chief complaint' was directly related to pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage. In the other 6 instances the patient was pregnant but the 'chief complaint' was something else e.g. back pains, fainting. This was taken of 1 5 month period between Jan-May 2012.
As these recommendations has already been received by both the Heath Minister and John Compton form Transforming Your Care, regarding the still birth rates Save The Mid will be writing to local MLA's to gain support in reestablishing maternity services at the Mid Ulster Hospital Site.
Link to Lagan Valley - http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-dhssps/news-dhssps-march-archive-2011/news-dhssps-100311-health-minister-opens.htm
Link to Save The Mid Transforming Your Care response - http://savethemid.weebly.com/tyc-response-2013.html the references for the ambulance response for pregnant mothers are in here, page 57 of the briefing document.
Link to source of still births - http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp27.htm these are reflective of where the mother is resident the hospital stats wont be printed until later but you will find some of it here, neither -
Link to DHSSPS information regarding hospitals in where still births occurred during April11-12, http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/stats_research/hospital-stats/inpatients.htm / http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/ni_hospital_statistics_-_inpatient_activity_2011_12.pdf
Save The Mid - http://savethemid.weebly.com/
Tel: 07871503189 (after 6pm)
Twitter : @SaveTheMid