However, those who aren’t able to give birth at Corbar are still able to return there after their baby has been born if they choose to do so.
But this respite care is not something NHS Derbyshire County chief executive David Sharp believes is necessary, he says in a video in which he answers key questions about the trust’s plans to review Corbar.
“The concept of respite care is that you’re taking a respite from something that’s untreatable, that you’re having to have a release from,” he said. “I don’t believe that birth is an illness.
“I’m really glad that the respite care happens at the moment but I would question its clinical value. What did the NHS gain in real clinical output from that time that’s been spent in respite at Corbar?
“Now that at its heart is not saying that it was a bad thing or that people experienced a bad event, in fact I’d be really, really traumatised if people said the NHS spent a lot of money, I spent five days in convalescence and it wasn’t any good.
“I’m glad that the money we spent gave a good experience.
“I have to say that in a time when the NHS is making some tough choices is it the right way that we should be spending our money?
“I don’t see the additional clinical benefit of that respite period and in fact if you don’t have that type of unit people don’t take that convalescent period in a birthing unit, they remain in the place where they gave birth until such time as they’re ready to go home and then they go home.
“To say that because it was a good experience means that it’s something that the NHS should sustain really doesn’t stack up.”
The video has been launched to coincide with the start of the formal engagement process about Corbar, which is being reviewed by the trust as part of plans to make significant savings as demand for NHS services increases.
The engagement process, which started on August 1, runs for 12 weeks until October 23 and a final decision is expected in November.
* You can see the video on the trust’s website at www.derbyshirecounty.nhs.uk or on You Tube.