A PETITION has been launched to keep the Stroud Maternity Hospital ‘fully operational’.
Post-natal beds at the unit have been temporarily suspended due to ‘ongoing staffing challenges’.
Beds will only be available for six hours following a birth.
New mums requiring extra postnatal care will be offered the option of home visits or will need to attend another centre.
“We want to clarify the current position about postnatal beds at Stroud Maternity,” said a spokesperson for the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“In response to continuing staffing challenges, many people may be aware that we have taken the difficult decision to suspend the provision of postnatal beds at Stroud Maternity.
“This ensures that we can maintain the Stroud birthing service and continue to provide one-to-one care in labour at all times.
“This is a short-term measure only and will be reviewed on a weekly basis.”
The organiser of the petition, which was launched on Sunday, says that the unit is a ‘life-line for the community.’
So far, more than 3,500 people have signed the petition.
“The maternity unit provides much-needed birth and post-birth care for families in Stroud District,” wrote organiser Kathryn Buckingham.
“This petition seeks to ensure that the unit continues to offer post-natal beds and does not face eventual closures.
“Sign the petition if you wish to support the ongoing presence of SMU in Stroud and will not tolerate the erosion of maternity care in our town.”
Midwives and members of the community gathered in Stroud last year to take part in a protest calling for the government to address the ‘crisis’ in maternity services.
It was part of the national March with Midwives demonstration.
The petition can be found here – bit.ly/3CCekHu