• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Birth unit 'turns away women'

A £2.8 MILLION birthing unit, which opened just over a year ago, is turning pregnant mothers away every three days because it can't cope with demand.

The unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (ERI) is closing its door to mothers in labour twice a week, with them having to travel 20 miles to the nearest hospital instead.

The figures, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives, show the unit – which includes six delivery rooms, each with a birthing pool, en suite bathroom and sofa bed – was placed "on divert" on 107 occasions last year.

This led to mothers going to St John's Hospital in Livingston, with ERI's unit closed to non-complex births for between 30 minutes and 12 hours due to a lack of staff or capacity.

NHS Lothian said the number of births diverted away had remained stable in recent years.

The Scottish Conservatives said that in the rest of Scotland, diverting mothers from hospitals had only occurred on "a handful" of occasions. Health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: "Families across the Lothians deserve better."

NHS Lothian said its new birthing unit had been an "overwhelming success".

Contextual targeting label: 
Health

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

137262