DOZENS OF women have been rushed from Dewsbury hospital to Wakefield during labour since changes to maternity services took effect.
It happened 79 times in the first year after Dewsbury’s birth centre became a midwife-led unit (MLU).
Around one in four women who started their delivery at Dewsbury had to be transferred to Pinderfields Hospital because complications required a consultant present.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said the number of transfers was less than the expected rate for low-risk births, which is between 30 and 40 per cent.
But the Birth Trauma Association (BTA), which helps women who have been through traumatic deliveries, said transfers were risky for mothers and babies.
The BTA’s Kim Thomas said: “The fact that around 20 per cent of women who started their labours at the Dewsbury MLU had to transfer to the consultant-led unit in Pinderfields is shocking.
“Even though these women had been identified as low risk they still had problems during labour that required urgent medical attention. If something goes seriously wrong during labour, then the wait for an ambulance followed by a drive of 20 minutes or more means that vital minutes can be lost.”
Mid Yorkshire said there had been 342 births at Dewsbury‘s Bronte Birth Centre since it opened. A further 79 women went on to deliver at Pinderfields after complications led to their transfer.
Mid Yorkshire’s Alison Grundy, said: “Births in birth centres are known to be as safe for mother and baby, as compared to an obstetric-led unit, for low risk women.
“They are less likely to have major intervention or caesarean section. Women who birth at or are transferred from the birth centres express a higher satisfaction in their experience.”