Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"Western Trust decision could instigate postnatal depression" - Coyle

Published: 14 January, 2015

Sinn Féin Councillor Debbie Coyle has expressed her concern around the recent changes to the criteria in care in the South West Acute Hospital around expectant mothers with elevated BMI or diabetes.

The Enniskillen town Councillor explains,

"It was agreed by the Public Health Agency and Health and Social Care Board that women with a BMI greater than 40 were at high risk and not suitable for delivery at the South West Acute Hospital and should be referred to Altnagelvin Hospital at booking.

"At best, this is an insult to the ability of the consultants and staff at the South West Acute Hospital. At worst this is a huge inconvenience to pregnant mothers. During pregnancy, in particular the later stages, it can be quite uncomfortable to travel. Yet these women, who are already straining their bodies, are required to travel over 60miles extra just to get the care they require. What evidence, if any, is there to suggest that the consultants in the brand new South West Acute Hospital are unable to deliver these babies?

"In addition to this, it is contributing to the mentality of society being obsessed with weight, which can have a detrimental effect on an individual's mental health. Pregnancy can leave women feeling vulnerable and inevitably at risk of postnatal depression. I'm sure that making expectant mothers travel elsewhere to be treated would have the likelihood of contributing to this.

"It has also been brought to my attention that if the expectant mother refuses to be treated in Derry, despite the recommendations, her wishes will be respected. She will be treated in Enniskillen and will be provided with information and support around healthy eating during pregnancy. This should be encouraged and promoted - not sending patients to Derry.

"I am calling on the Western Trust to please reconsider this decision and to think of the mental health of the expectant mothers, the practicalities around travelling over 60miles to another hospital and the inconvenience incurred on the families." ENDS