CHS hospital abruptly ends maternity care

Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) General Hospital moved up the date it will end childbirth services by about three weeks, with the care ending abruptly at the end of July 11, according to the Times Leader.

Wilkes-Barre General, which is owned by Commonwealth Health, announced May 31 that it would stop providing planned inpatient labor and delivery services on July 31. The health system attributed the expedited deadline to staffing problems. 

"Despite efforts to do so, the hospital is not able to secure necessary staffing on the unit," Commonwealth said in a statement shared by Times Leader. "After today, the hospital will no longer provide planned inpatient labor and delivery services. Gynecological services and surgeries will continue to be provided at the hospital." 

When it announced the suspension of childbirth services in May, the health system said Wilkes-Barre General has experienced a 50 percent decrease in deliveries — the timeframe of which was undefined — and supports an average of 40 deliveries per month. 

Hospital officials on July 11 said the hospital will continue to work with providers of the 10 women who had planned to deliver at Wilkes-Barre General after July 11 to transition their care to another area hospital, according to the Times Leader

Commonwealth Health is a subsidiary of for-profit hospital operator Community Health Systems, based in Franklin, Tenn.

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