Answers just in to Parliamentary Questions tabled by Michael Fabricant offer some Christmas cheer to the future of Maternity Services in Lichfield.
Following the meeting on the 29th November at the House of Commons between Dr Gerbo Huisman, Pam Beale (of the National Childbirth Trust), and midwives and Michael Fabricant, Mr Fabricant tabled two Parliamentary Questions to the Minister of Health, John Denham. The first asked what is the Government’s policy towards midwifery lead units in the NHS (the Maternity Unit in Lichfield is one such unit); and the second question asked when the Government intends to publish its policy on how maternity services should be reconfigured – a Report on this is overdue and South Staffordshire Health Authority have said that confusion over Government policy is one of the factors delaying a decision on the future health services in Lichfield and Burntwood. The formal questions and answers (extracted from Hansard) are:-
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of midwifery-led units in the NHS. 
Mr. Denham: The National Health Service provides a variety of types of care for women during pregnancy and childbirth including care in midwife-led units. We would expect to see this variety continue, offering individual choice whenever possible. Locally, health care commissioners and providers need to ensure that a full range of maternity services is available to women as close to home as possible.
Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to publish his policy on reconfiguring maternity services. 
Mr. Denham: We are currently discussing with the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Midwives the best way to work together on broader issues
around maternity unit staffing and configuration. We expect to make an announcement very soon.
Michael Fabricant says: "I hope this now gives a glimmer of Christmas cheer to mothers who have given birth at the Victoria Hospital in Lichfield, to their children, to mothers to be, and local midwives. The Minister of Health’s answer is unequivocal: he says ‘locally health care providers need to ensure that a full range of maternity services is available to women as close to home as possible’.
"This is a clear message to the local Health Authority that they must maintain the maternity unit in Lichfield. The Government must now provide the funds to enable them to do so."