High Peak Conservative MP Andrew Bingham took the Corbar Birth Centre Campaign to the highest level yesterday, when he asked the Prime Minister a question about it in the House of Commons.
Andrew has been heavily involved in the campaign to keep the Birth Centre open – organising an Action Day against the PCT’s plans with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) last month, as well as putting a downloadable survey on his website for people to fill in and send to the PCT.
Andrew’s latest action against the closure plans saw him ask the Prime Minister towards the end of PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions):
“Does the Prime Minister agree that birthing centres in rural areas provide a valuable and irreplaceable service to the local community, and every effort should be made to retain them — a message that hundreds of my constituents and I are sending to Derbyshire County NHS as it considers the future of the Corbar birthing centre in my constituency of High Peak?”
Prime Minister David Cameron, who had landed back from Afghanistan earlier in the morning, answered:
“I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. We want to see maternity networks so that mums can make a choice about where they give birth, whether in a community setting, midwife-led, or whether in a district general hospital with all the paraphernalia of consultants and the rest of it. It should be a choice made by them with their GP and others on what is right for their needs.”
Speaking afterwards, Andrew said:
“I’m very pleased that the Prime Minister agrees that Maternity units and birth centres such as Corbar are a vital choice that parents-to-be should have.
“This is exactly what I and numerous others have been telling David Sharp and Mark Todd for weeks now, and I hope that with the words of encouragement from the Prime Minister, they are having second thoughts about closing it.”