Concerns raised over closure of maternity service

A scrutiny committee says it is to raise concerns about the closure of maternity services at Bishop Auckland Hospital.

Bishop Auckland Hospital opened in 2002

The NHS Foundation Trust responsible for Bishop Auckland Hospital is temporarily closing the unit as a result of staff sickness levels.

Members of Durham County Council’s Adults Wellbeing and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee will write to the trust, raising their concerns.

Councillor Robin Todd, chair of the scrutiny committee, said: “Members have considered these proposals and identified a number of concerns and we need reassurance and guarantees.

“The biggest concern is communities not having a service close by for a set period of time and the effect this will have on expectant mothers.”

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust are proposing that the temporary closure take place from Saturday, 2nd July to September. The unit operates with 13 full time staff.

Bishop Auckland Hospital opened in 2002 on Cockton Hill Road. Initially operating with an Accident and Emergency department, the hospital now provides outpatient and rehabilitation services and low-risk operations.

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