To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on changes to neonatal care at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital, with particular reference to the care of babies born under 27 weeks gestation.
The NHS West Midlands strategic health authority reports that there has been no change in where babies of less than 27 weeks gestation are cared for within the Staffordshire, Shropshire and Black Country Newborn Network.
Primary care trusts locally have provided additional funding in 2007-08 for neonatal services in the locality. Commissioners are working with the network to use this extra funding to increase the resources at the two proposed level 3 units. This will ensure that they can be staffed appropriately to provide the improved standard of care necessary for the smallest and sickest babies in the network, as described in the report by the expert review group on neonatal intensive care, published in 2003.
Decisions about the size and locations of networks, including the number of hospitals and the levels of care provided, are for local decision and should reflect local need and geography.