Pregnant patients at Massachusetts birth center say they have been denied care

Some pregnant patients are accusing Beverly (Mass.) Hospital's North Shore Birth Center of denying them care after suspending the closure of the center for 90 days as of Aug. 2. 

The patients have planned a press conference for Aug. 25 where they will detail their complaints, including a lack of effort in trying to recruit more staff or retain current employees. The North Shore Birth Center is currently the only "free-standing, midwifery-led birthing center in Eastern Massachusetts."

The press conference also plans to discuss how the closure has caused a lapse of care, with many patients in their third trimester. Since January, patients of the center have delivered their babies at Beverly Hospital and are supported by midwives from the birth center for postpartum care, The Salem News reported Aug. 4.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, along with Rep. Seth Moulton, have previously spoken out against closing the center. 

Cambridge, Mass.-based Beth Israel Lahey Health, which owns the facility, denies any allegations of failure to recruit staff or lapses in patient care.
"During this extended review period, we are not adding new patients or reinstating patients who had already transitioned away from the practice," Tom Sands, president of Beverly Hospital, said in a statement to Becker's. "The health and safety of our patients is at the heart of all that we do, and this will limit any risk of further disruption to patient care continuity. Expectant patients have a care transition plan and the option to receive their care and deliver their child in the high-quality setting of Beverly Hospital. Prior to the decision to pursue closure of the NSBC, Beverly Hospital invested in a variety of efforts to recruit and retain professionals for clinical positions at the Birth Center."

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