East Devon: not the best place to have babies?

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.

One thought on “East Devon: not the best place to have babies?

  1. In most cases getting a mother in labour to Exeter rather than Honiton will not present a problem. But there will be exceptions to this…

    What about families who don’t have a lot of money and need to rely on taxi’s but who cannot now afford to get to Exeter? Will ambulances be made available?

    And for those that have a car or use a taxi but where the mother’s labour is very short? Are we planning to train fathers and taxi drivers to handle short labours during the journey?

    Worse still, what about mothers whose baby gets into difficulties early in labour, and who are still on the way to hospital?

    If the Tories stopped wasting £10bn – £30bn per year on administration of the “market” in pursuit of a secret NHS Privatisation agenda, cuts to maternity services would not be necessary.


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