Publish date: 14 March 2024

There are just a few days left to share your views as part of a public consultation on proposed changes to how and where maternity, neonatal, and children’s surgical services could be provided in North Central London. The consultation closes on Sunday, 17 March 2024.

The Start Well consultation is being jointly run by North Central London Integrated Care Board, on behalf of the Integrated Care system, with NHS England as commissioner of some specialised services for neonatal and children’s surgical care.

Frontline NHS staff work incredibly hard to provide the best possible services, but the changing needs and demands of local people, caused by falling birth rates and increasingly complex care needed by people using services, mean services aren’t always set up in the right way. There are also challenges including the high number of staffing vacancies in some professions, and services not always being able to meet best practice standards.

For children’s surgery, there is variation in access with some babies and young children getting transferred several times before getting the care they need and too many children are waiting too long for surgical care.

The proposals include a reduction in the number of hospital sites in NCL delivering maternity and neonatal care from five to four, and the possible closure of the birthing suites at the Edgware Birth Centre. These changes would create more resilient services, with co-located midwifery and obstetrics-led units with neonatal units able to look after premature or unwell babies, alongside a homebirth offer for all boroughs.

For children’s surgery, proposals include creating two ‘centres of expertise’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCLH which would mean quicker and better quality of care for babies and small children who need operations.

Hundreds of staff and local people have already shared their views and we are keen to hear from as many people as possible about their experiences and views. If you haven’t already responded, please consider adding your voice to the feedback we are gathering.

You can view the proposals and complete a questionnaire online. You can also:

You have until 11.59pm on Sunday 17 March 2024 to share your views.