From The Baby Website, thanks Debbie for emailing it to me!
Mums who give birth at Rochdale Infirmary will have to pay for hospiotal formula milk after January 2009.
If the mums wish to bottlefeed, then they will have to buy £5 tokens from machines in the maternity ward, which can be exchanged for a pack containing 10 bottles of formula and teats. The formula will be sold at cost price and the Trust will not make a profit from selling it.
According to the Pennine Acute Trust, which runs Rochdale Infirmary, the measures will save about £30,000 a year.
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There are no facilities on the wards to allow parents to bring in and make up their own powdered formula. Neither can they bring in their own ready-made formula, sterile bottles or teats as the hospital will not take responsibility for storing them due to the risk of contamination.
Mothers will still receive their babies’ first feed for free, but after that milk will only be provided free in cases where there is a medical reason.
The Trust has told staff that is “not fair to subsidise costs for women who choose not to breastfeed while women who choose to breastfeed receive no financial support,” but denied that the move was because the hospital is working towards achieving Unicef Baby Friendly standard – an accreditation awarded to maternity services which support successful breastfeeding.
Councillor Jean Ashworth, who works as a health care assistant at the Infirmary, said: “It is absolutely appalling that mothers will have to pay to feed their babies. What will happen next? Where will it stop? How long is it before they start making patients pay for food? Everyone, the midwives, junior doctors, consultants, are all up in arms about it. It beggars belief that they are charging babies to feed. It’s ridiculous.”
Between January and March, mothers who arrive at hospital without money for tokens will be able to “borrow” milk, which must subsequently be paid for when money is brought in.
Mr John Lindars, women and children’s divisional director at Pennine Acute Hospitals, said: “In line with national recommendations a large proportion of women who have had babies at Pennine Acute Trust breastfeed their babies. For mums of well babies who choose not to breastfeed, formula milk will be available for them to buy. The Trust will not be profiting from this change, but we do stress that babies with any special medical requirement will have all feeds provided free of charge. The Trust has worked hard to increase the number of mothers who breastfeed by promoting its benefits.”