A Solihull councillor has launched a scathing attack on officials at Solihull Hospital over a decision to downgrade maternity services prior to undertaking a formal public consultation.
Bickenhill Councillor Jim Ryan demanded the resignation of Heart of England Foundation Trust chief executive Mark Goldman and chair of the board of directors Clive Wilkinson at a full council meeting over the proposed withdrawal of a high-risk births unit at Solihull Hospital.
Members passed a motion demanding Heart of England keep services running at the hospital, which is due to lose the ability to deliver all premature and high-risk births when it becomes a midwife-led unit from April.
The trust came under fire from councillors, MPs and residents last month when it announced it would move ahead with the plans on “safety” grounds, closing the maternity ward for up to three months while staff were retrained.
Coun Ryan accused the trust of “riding roughshod over the needs of Solihull people”.
Of Mr Goldman and Mr Wilkinson he said: “These two in my opinion have contaminated the moral environment in Solihull and as such should resign their position.
“I don’t believe that they can be trusted to lead or take part in a consultation exercise.”
A Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee between the council and the trust on February 4 saw members express uncertainty over a number of issues including whether a midwife-led unit was any safer than the current service and if other hospitals could cope with an increase in deliveries.
The two-part motion repudiated the trust’s decision and recommended Heart of England “make no material changes to the maternity service at Solihull Hospital until such time as the consultation process is concluded.”
The motion will be sent to the secretary of state.
Campaigners have argued that as low-risk births only make up around a quarter of deliveries in the borough, bosses should instead reinstate full paediatric services.