To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) on how many occasions in each month during the current year women were turned away from the baby unit at Bradford Royal infirmary due to lack of facilities and transferred to the regional neonatal units in Leeds;(2) what are the shortages of staff and ventilators at Bradford Royal infirmary; how many babies are transferred to the regional neonatal units in Leeds on average throughout each month due to these or other shortages; and if he will make a statement.
Bradford and Leeds both provide neonatal intensive care facilities. It is normal practice for patients to be referred to Leeds when the Bradford unit is full and vice versa. Bradford's capacity has occasionally been affected by recruitment problems. The number of ventilators at Bradford is sufficient to meet normal demand. I understand that to date, this year, seven patients have been transferred from Bradford to Leeds. In the same period, Bradford has accepted 18 patients from outside the district, including some from Leeds. The hon. Member may wish to seek more detailed information from the chairman of Bradford health authority.