Honiton, Tiverton and Okehampton maternity units are to close, with services centralised on Exeter.
Let’s, say, take Hawkchurch:
Hawkchurch to Honiton – 15 miles, 25 minutes to Honiton
Hawkchurch to Exeter – 33 miles, 53 minutes to Exeter
Source: AA route planner, miles rounded
28 extra minutes – ON A GOOD DAY – to hospital with a maternity emergency.
That’s if you have a car with an available driver – or an ambulance – sitting outside your home when an emergency begins. A very unlikely scenario. And it assumes a clear road and good conditions – not night-time rain or snow, or a blocked country road.
“Under this government, maternity units are understaffed and under pressure. It’s shameful that pregnant women are being turned away due to staff shortages, and shortages of beds and cots in maternity units.”
Hello, Mr Parish, hello.