Dawn Butler MP calls to save maternity services at the Royal Free

The NHS has been consulting on plans to withdraw maternity services from the Royal Free Hospital. I am opposing these plans, and I hope you will join me.

The Royal Free is one of the main hospitals used by women I represent, and in particular those from the south of the borough in areas like Harlesden, Stonebridge, Kensal Green and more.

The proposed closure of maternity services at the Royal Free will only lead to an increase in travel times as women have to access services further away. The Royal Free also provides a wide range of very specialist support services and I am deeply concerned this change will negatively impact women with complex pregnancies and needs.

It is shocking that the maternal mortality for black women is currently almost four times higher than for white women. They need more support and specialist services, not fewer.

That is why I have challenged the Secretary of State for Health over what, if any, equality impact assessment the Government have conducted on these concerning plans.

More widely, after 14 years of devastating Tory cuts I am concerned about the provision of healthcare services in our area. In 2014, we saw the closure of the A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital. I opposed it. They then opened a 24-hour Urgent Care Centre in its place.

In 2019 they came for the Urgent Care Centre, permanently closing its doors at night. I led the campaign opposing that too. And now, they are going after local maternity services, used by some of the most in-need communities in Brent.

It seems to me that this is a concerted campaign to draw down healthcare services around the south of Brent, which is where we need these services the most. We cannot allow this to happen.

Together, we must say no to the closure of these maternity services, and fight to keep vital healthcare services such as this at the heart of our community.

The consultation has now closed but you can sign the petition at: