A cross party delegation from Maidstone will accompany MASH to Downing St this morning to present thousands of signatures against the move of obstetric (doctor led maternity) services to Pembury from Maidstone. I will be joining Peter Carroll, Helen Grant, Rav Seerthrum, Maidstone's parliamentary candidates, plus Sarah Waters, local community campaigner, Heather, Mary and Anna.
Although I am a great supporter of midwifery led maternity care (child birth should not be medicalised unless there is a very good reason), it does seem strange to only have an obstetrics unit at Pembury rather than in Maidstone. Maidstone has much higher deprivation than Tunbridge Wells, a higher and younger population, and must have the greater number of births. The two sites are 17 miles apart, a route that takes around 40 minutes by car on a good day, an hour on the bus and two changes by train. Realistically, it would be better to have obstetrics provided at both sites.