Children’s and maternity services in South Yorkshire are ‘no longer sustainable’ – because hospitals do not have the staff to cope with demand.
The services are to be ‘reshaped’ in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw as part of a major shake-up of the region’s NHS designed to find £571m of savings over the next five years.
The South Yorkshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan – STP – says a ‘national shortage of specialist paediatric staff coupled with rising demands and need to meet higher national standards’ means a reorganisation is needed.
And while local health bosses say no units are facing closure ‘at this stage’, the report says the way children’s and maternity services must be changed’.
It said: “Currently, our children’s and maternity services are under significant pressure with the ways in which we provide services no longer being sustainable.
“There is a national shortage of specialist paediatric staff, which, coupled with rising demands and needing to meet higher national standards, tells us we need to reshape our children’s and maternity services across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.
“From community based care to the more specialised and hospital services we have in our region, we want all our children to have the best start in life, local support to stay healthy and more specialist care available should they need it.”
Altering the way in which children’s and maternity services are run in South Yorkshire is a priority for health chiefs as part of the overhaul of the NHS in the region.
As part of the STP, health bosses are currently attempting to identify ‘unsustainable’ hospital services.
Will Cleary-Gray, director of sustainability and transformation for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, said: “At this stage there are no plans to have any changes to the number of units. It recognises there are national standards that have been published and we need to make sure those services are meeting those national standards.”
The Star’s ‘Great NHS Gamble’ investigation is examining the shake-up of health services.
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