Tatton Liberal Democrats were delighted to hear, from East Cheshire NHS Trust Chief Executive, Ged Murphy, that significant progress has now been made towards restoring full maternity services to Macclesfield Hospital, where many Cheshire families go for their maternity care.
Whilst the target date for that restoration has been put back again – until “early summer” – and challenges remain, for the first time for the three years since these vital services were suspended it seems that all the hard work by the Chief Executive and his team, and the continuous campaign by the Liberal Democrats to maintain a high public profile of the issue, are paying off. The Trust have had unprecedented barriers to overcome over the last 36 months: from the pandemic, to national staffing shortages, to treatment backlogs. If, as it appears, we can now look forward with confidence to the restoration of birthing services in a few months’ time, the management team at the Trust should be duly congratulated. From the start, the Liberal Democrats were not critical of the Trust itself, but were very concerned that the pandemic and its aftermath might mean that the “temporary suspension” could become permanent, despite the Trust Board’s best intentions and plans, given the history of threats to some related services in the past.
Speaking for the Tatton Liberal Democrats, Jonathan Smith said: “I have attended the majority of Trust Board meetings since early in the pandemic, have submitted many questions about their maternity services to the Board, have analysed reports and data, and have maintained a challenging, but supportive approach. Throughout this time, the Chief Executive and his predecessor have been committed to open and responsive communications with me, for which I am very grateful. I will continue to keep a close eye on this important issue, on behalf of families across Tatton, until its full conclusion.”