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Billinge Hospital (Maternity Wing)

Volume 118: debated on Monday 29 June 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which patients at the Roy Hartley maternity wing of Billinge hospital situated in the Wigan health authority are being required to provide their own nappies; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the previous free supply of nappies is resumed.

I understand that the Wigan health authority was one of the few health authorities without a definite policy on the matter on the provision of disposable nappies to the mothers of newborn babies. In the absence of a policy, nappies were provided for the complete period of stay in hospital.The change of policy means that disposable nappies are provided for the first 24 hours only, after which the parents are required to provide nappies themselves for their child. Cases of hardship are dealt with on an individual basis.This follows a recommendation from the midwifery sections of the English National Board that local arrangements for the supply of nappies be reviewed. The new policy is in line with the policy followed by many health authorities.