Huddersfield/Halifax maternity merger
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MOTHERS and babies will be at risk if plans to transfer maternity services from Huddersfield to Halifax go ahead.

That is the view of consultant obstetrician Professor Jim Thornton, who attended a protest march held by midwives in Huddersfield on Saturday.

Prof Thornton works at City Hospital in Nottingham and travelled north especially for the protest.

He said: "Every obstetrician knows there will always be someone who starts off with low risk labour and some awful problem happens and in that situation, you need a unit where you have a doctor who can deal with it within minutes, certainly within half an hour.

"Transferring people down a crowded road is clearly going to have a risk."


Prof Thornton had been asked to speak at the protest on the Piazza because he is a member of independent `think tank' Doctors for Reform.

The report, which came out at the end of 2005, revealed that Britain had the biggest centralised maternity units in Europe.  

Prof Thornton said: "In Huddersfield there are about 2,000 births a year.  We are already too centralised in this country and we should stop."

From the Huddersfield Examiner 23 Jan 2006

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Last modified: September 20, 2006