A petition of 10000 was presented to the PCT last year. Campaigners have asked for it back as they now wish to present it to Parliamant, but the PCT refuses to return it wotout explanation (probably becasue they just binned it - showing their real concern for local feeling)
What you can do to help:
Ø Join us for petitioning on Saturday 21st Feb at 11 am in the Market Cross, Malmesbury.
Ø Join us when we present the petition to MPs in Westminster on Monday 29th March (free bus).
Ø Come to our public meeting: Thursday 26th Feb, 7.30pm, Town Hall (Council Chamber),Malmesbury
Ø Come to the consultation meeting organised by Kennett & North Wilts PCT: Monday 1 March 2004, 10am to 12pm at Malmesbury Town Hall, Hobbs Room (Limited crèche facilities will be available - please telephone Leanne Woolway on 01380 736012 to secure a place), (There are other consultation meetings at Devizes, Marlborough, Pewsy and Calne, you can get details from me or www.kennetandnwiltspct.nhs.uk.)
Ø To get in touch with us, ring Sarah Newman on 01793 520903
You can also contact the PCT by writing to:
Jenny Edwards, Kennet and North Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 5EQ.
Or email: email@example.com Fax: (01380) 733729 or telephone (01380) 736012 (answer phone only)
The PCT argue that there are not enough births at Malmesbury to make it cost effective, but the Birth-Rate could easily be Increased at Malmesbury Maternity Unit.
Removing the threat of closure is likely to increase the numbers. This would increase staff morale and patient confidence that the unit will still be open when they need it! Advertising the unit properly outside Malmesbury would also increase the birth rate.
Women outside Malmesbury are not told about the maternity unit. In spite of this, 1 in 5 of the births at Malmesbury are Swindon women who mostly heard about it from friends! This number could certainly be increased if the unit were properly promoted.
§ What are the advantages of a midwife-led maternity unit?
Women are more likely to have a normal birth with this type of one-to-one care and labour is likely to be shorter. Also, because post-natal care can be more personal and flexible, women are much more likely to breast-feed afterwards.
We believe that women should be able to choose this type of care if they want it.
When the Kennet & North Wiltshire PCT was set up 2 years ago, it started off with £11million debt! It claims that closing Malmesbury Hospital and Devizes Maternity Unit will save it £250 000. But it is not clear that this terrible proposal will even save any money.