Patients & Visitors

Maternity

Updated: 18 January 2022

Temporary closure of Bath community birthing centres and home birthing service

To allow us to maintain safe staffing levels across our maternity services, we have extended the temporary closure of Chippenham and Frome community birthing centres for births and paused our home birthing service until Sunday 30 January.

This difficult decision has been made in response to increased demand for maternity services as well as staffing challenges caused by sickness absences due to COVID-19 and general winter illnesses.

We would like to reassure mums, birthing people, partners and families that our maternity services remain open and encourage them to speak to their midwife if they have any concerns about them or their baby.

We will continue to provide antenatal clinics in Chippenham, Frome, Trowbridge and Paulton.

Those affected by the closures will be contacted and supported by their midwife and will be able to use the Birthing Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH), which is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. There are no changes for partners/birth partners who remain welcome to accompany you to appointments and in labour. Our website has updated information on 24 hour contact details for maternity services.

Sarah Merritt, Director of Midwifery and Deputy Chief Nurse, said:

"This is not something we take lightly and we explored a number of options before making this difficult decision. However, the safety of those who are giving birth and their babies is our utmost priority.

"We fully appreciate how disappointing this will be for those who were hoping to have a home birth or use their community centre during this time. We are very sorry for this and will monitor the situation closely so that we can offer this service again as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding."

The situation will be reviewed twice a week and the service reinstated as soon as safely possible.

Updated 19 July 2021

Maternity services at the RUH (and our associated community Centres Frome and Chippenham, Trowbridge and Paulton, including our Home Birth Service), are still here and open for business. If you have any concerns or questions about you and/or your baby's health, please do not delay contacting your local maternity unit.

With immediate effect we are pleased to announce maternity visiting as follows:

Appointments

A support person can attend all antenatal appointment.

Your support people will be able to support you through labour and birth and we aim to facilitate a stay of up to 3 hours after the birth of your baby. However, if any of your support people leave during your labour, they will not be able to return. Therefore it's important that they have enough food/snacks/nicotine replacement therapy etc to sustain them.

Your support person can continue to attend all scan appointments.

Visiting

Visiting is from 11am until 5pm (9am-9pm from Monday 17th May 2021) for your support person only. They MUST wear a face covering at all times and remain by your bed space.

Children are not able to attend any appointments or the postnatal ward.

COVID-19 Lateral Flow Testing

In line with Government guidance, it is now recommended that all pregnant women/birthing people and support person, if experiencing no symptoms, carry out a rapid home test for COVID-19 twice a week.


Keeping you safe during COVID-19

Please consider whether your support person needs to attend your maternity appointment.

You and your support partner must wear a face covering (unless you are in labour, although your support person MUST keep their face covering on) and your support person must maintain social distancing at all times.


We work closely with the local maternity voice partnership:

You can give anonymous feedback via Maternity Voices Partnership survey.

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