MOTHERS-TO-BE will not be held up in ambulance queues if they are moved from Dewsbury District Hospital.
They will instead go straight to the maternity unit at Pinderfields Hospital once consultant-led services at Dewsbury are downgraded.
The details were given in response to questions raised by Heckmondwike-based campaigner David Honeybell.
Concerned that new mums and their babies may be at risk if they were held in queues at Pinderfields’ A&E, he asked how the system will work.
Bosses at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust stated that ambulances would not be held up as they will go straight to maternity.
Enquiries by The Press added more detail to what will happen when Dewsbury moves to a midwife-led service.
Head of midwifery Anne Ward said: “Women coming to the midwife-led unit at Dewsbury will be thoroughly risk-assessed upon admission.
“If at any point there are concerns about progress or additional risk factors are identified, they will be transferred to Pinderfields.
“These transfers will be supervised by the midwife in charge, and, if necessary, by the resident anaesthetist.”
Ambulance crews will stay in touch with A&E during the transfer while arrangements would be made in advance of the patient’s arrival.
The travel time ward-to-ward between Dewsbury and Pinderfields hospitals is about 30 minutes, she said.
Mrs Ward added: “The procedures for transfer to Pinderfields have already been tried and tested at the midwife-led unit at Pontefract.
“The current transfer rate is 17 per cent, which is well below the national average of 25 per cent.
“Since the Pontefract unit opened in 2010, a total of eight women have required a time-critical transfer.
“Nine out of 10 women who needed to be transferred were transferred for reasons that were not time-critical.
“In all these situations the transfer procedures worked well and the outcomes for mothers and their babies were good.
“These procedures will be mirrored at Dewsbury. We are confident these changes will allow us to provide the safest and most modern services for women and their babies.”