Pregnant women urged not to panic over surgery cut

WHILE doubt remains over the overall safety assurances given by the Trust over obstetrics and gynaecology, in light of the suspension of emergency surgery at the SWAH, pregnant women in Fermanagh are being urged not to worry regarding the safety of C-sections at the hospital, either planned or emergency.
As revealed by the Herald, the Trust had repeatedly implied it had been working with the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology regarding safety mitigation measures since announcing the withdrawal of the service from the hospital next week. However, the Royal College has confirmed to the Herald the Trust had only been liasing with one of its local members on an informal basis.
The Trust’s claims it has been working with the Royal College came in response to a letter written by a group of obstetrics and gynaecology consultants from the SWAH, who outlined their concerns about the impact the removal of emergency surgery would have on the safety of their patients. It is also understood an obstetrics and gynaecology consultant recently resigned from the SWAH, citing their safety concerns at the current situation, although the Trust has stated this consultant resigned for “personal reasons.”
However, a retired local midwife has told the Herald local women who are pregnant should not panic over these concerns, explaining that while the current situation could impact other gynaecological services, it should not have any impact on C-sections being carried out at the Enniskillen hospital.
The retired midwife, who did not wish to be named, explained that emergency surgeons did not carry out C-sections, so while the removal of the service should not have a direct impact on C-sections, whether planned or not.
The midwife assured women maternity services were safe, and noted those with high risk pregnancies had already been treated in other hospitals.
“I could see how when they are doing a gynae surgery they may be presented with situations where they feel there is something they didn’t expect, and they may need to get surgical people in to have a look at it,” she said.
She felt, “the whole situation is pretty dire.”
“I would be concerned about the domino affect. It will only take one or two obstetricians to say they are not happy with it and for them to pull out, then we’re on a slippery slope.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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