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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 4 April 2023

Births begin again at Chippenham Birthing Centre

New parents have spoken of their delight after Chippenham Birthing Centre, part of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, returned to supporting births again.

Amy and Sean Hooper with their baby Phoebe

The RUH had previously made the difficult decision to suspend births in the centre due to staff shortages and the need to prioritise the safety of women and birthing people and their babies. The birth centre has now reopened for births and the maternity team are delighted to be back facilitating births, as well as providing antenatal and postnatal care.

The first baby born at the centre was Phoebe, daughter of first time parents Amy and Sean Hooper, who live in Calne.

Amy said: "We chose Chippenham for the birth so we could be close to home and in a nice, relaxed atmosphere. The care from midwives Louise and Lucy was excellent and we couldn't have asked for anything more."

Sarah Woodward, the RUH's Deputy Director of Midwifery, said: "I would like to again offer our sincere apologies to anyone who was affected by the temporary pause on births at the centre and for not being able to offer as wide a choice of place of birth to families over the past year.

"We have continued to provide antenatal and postnatal services during this time but I'm delighted that the centre is fully open once again. Despite a national shortage, we've been really successful in in recruiting midwives and maternity support assistants to join our team, it means we can also return to supporting home births in our community.

"We know how important choice is for our local families and our midwives are really pleased to be back facilitating community births in Wiltshire."

Wherever you are considering having your baby, please discuss this with your midwife at your next appointment. You can discuss your choice of place of birth with your midwife at any stage of your pregnancy. You will also be provided with a QR code to access information on your choices to help with your decision making.


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