Birthing cap at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital to be increased
The cap on the number of births at New Cross Hospital is set to be increased, health bosses have said.
A limit was introduced at the maternity unit in 2017 by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust chief David Loughton after high demand.
It meant mothers-to-be were likely to be turned away to another site if the hospital exceeded its capacity of 5,000 births per year.
But now high-level discussions have taken place in a bid to lift the current restrictions to take on an extra 300 births a year after a national drop in birth rates.
A report to health bosses at the Wolverhampton trust, as part of the Chief Nurse’s Nursing Report, said: “The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has started to see a reduction in women booking from the six Willenhall GP surgeries.
“Discussions have taken place regarding lifting the cap on bookings now that birth rates are falling.
“Nationally there has been a reduction in birth rates in 2018 by 3.6 per cent when compared with birth rates in 2017.
“The executive team is currently discussing the plan and will advise the directorate on the next steps in due course.”
The health trust has received requests from women mid-trimester from surrounding areas to transfer care from their booking hospital to New Cross Hospital.
The transfers have been accepted, but they will continued to be monitored closely.
The cap was introduced in 2017 when the maternity unit was at the “upper limit” of what it could safely do.
The unit accepted expectant mothers from Walsall Manor Hospital, Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital and the midwife-led unit at County Hospital in Stafford.
It comes after Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Walsall Manor Hospital, lifted its birth cap earlier this year.
Gwen Nuttall, chief operating officer for The Royal Wolverhampton Trust said: “Following regular reviews, the trust is now in a position to lift the cap allowing the current capacity of 5,000 births a year to be increased to 5,300 births.”