The people who buy health services in West Norfolk are looking at alternative ways of providing the home birth scheme for mums to be in the area.
West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group is exploring alternatives as the service is no longer offered by Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Home births have not been offered since before September last year when the service was suspended due to staffing problems. The hospital initially said it was a temporary suspension but in March it gave notice it was being permanently terminated.
The governing board will be meeting in Lynn Corn Exchange on Thursday to discuss whether to test the market.
Dr Sue Crossman, chief officer of the commissioning group said: “As the QEH home birth service is currently suspended we are obliged as commissioners to explore the market for alternative provision.
“This will not prejudice any decisions about the future of the service; we are simply looking to obtain the full facts about what the options are for the future.
“The CCG maintains its commitment to commissioning high quality and effective maternity services for women in the West of Norfolk.”
Governors will decide whether to place a prior information notice on the Supply to Health website inviting interest from new and existing providers.
The group agreed at its last meeting to report the QEH to regulator Monitor over the service.
The QEH has said that of around 2,400 births it deals with each year, around 25 to 30 women have historically had a home birth. A report to the CCG said the hospital would need to recruit five additional midwives to reinstate the service.