Maternity unit closed doors once in two years

tis  Harrogate District Hospital exterior.  101020M1b.
tis Harrogate District Hospital exterior. 101020M1b.

Just one pregnant woman has been turned away from Harrogate Hospital’s maternity unit in the past two years, new figures show.

The data, revealed as part of a nationwide investigation, shows Harrogate and District Foundation Trust (HDFT) closed its doors for just three hours in the past 24 months.

This resulted in a single woman, turned away because of a shortage of beds, being forced to travel 20 miles to give birth.

Yet these figures, when balanced amidst a national ‘crisis’, compare well against nearby hospitals.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust - where Channel Four documentary series One Born Every Minute was filmed - closed 353 times in the same time period. And the longest closure, aside from those due to maintenance work, was a 67-hour hiatus at St James University Hospital in Leeds, put down to “capacity” issues.

A total of 14 trusts, the investigation by the Telegraph newspaper found, had closures of 24 hours or longer. This maternity ‘crisis’, the newspaper said, was largely down to staff shortages and a lack of available beds.