NHS launches consultation on North London maternity, neonatal and children’s surgery services

North Central London Integrated Care Board’s proposed changes will affect people in Barnet

The entrance sign outside Edgware Community Hospital in Burnt Oak
Edgware Community Hospital

North Central London Integrated Care Board (ICB), along with NHS England’s Specialised Commissioning team, have launched a public consultation on proposals for how and where care for pregnant women and people and young children could be provided in the area in the future.

North Central London ICB covers services in the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield Haringey and Islington.

The proposals include the reduction of numbers of maternity and neonatal units in the North Central London ICB area from five to four and the proposed closure of the birthing suites at the Edgware Birth Centre. The ICB believe these changes would create more resilient services, co-locating midwifery and obstetrics-led units with neonatal units able to look after premature or unwell babies, as well as a homebirth offer for all boroughs.

For children’s surgery proposals include creating two ‘centres of expertise’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospital which would mean quicker and better quality of care for babies and small children who need operations.

The ICB base their proposals on changing needs in the local population,including falling birth rates and increasingly complex care needed by people using maternity and neonatal services.  The ICB also point to high numbers of vacancies in some professions, which they say means “we are not always able to achieve the best practice standards that we would want to deliver for our residents”.

Dr Jo Sauvage, Chief Medical Officer for North Central London ICB said, “We know maternity units have a very special place in the hearts of local people. The work done so far has helped us understand how best to deliver high quality care. Hearing from patients and clinicians about what is important to them, we believe there is a very compelling case for change. Keeping services as they are does not support better outcomes, access and experience for residents. 

“We want to test out these proposals with the public and hear what the potential impact could be on all people using these services from NCL and our neighbouring boroughs. We are consulting with an open mind and want to hear your thoughts and ideas.”

The consultation will run between 11th December 2023 and 17th March 2024. It will involve extensive patient and public as well as staff engagement opportunities as well as the collection of feedback from anyone who wishes to contribute.

The details of the proposals and more information on how to take part in the consultation are available at: 

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