Paula Shobbrook, director of nursing and midwifery, the Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals said, “The safety of birthing women, their babies and our staff is absolutely paramount, but the current coronavirus situation and the impact on our staffing levels means we can no longer consistently provide safe care. We are also mindful of the pressures on the ambulance service, and by consolidating births on to one site, we will no longer need ambulances to carry out emergency/urgent transfers to Poole.
“Poole Hospital provides an excellent service, and offers the whole range of birthing options, including the Haven Birthing Suite for low risk births.
“Our Antenatal Clinic will continue to provide services as normal, and has been relocated to the Orthopaedic Outpatients Department in the main building of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
“Our home birth service will continue, subject to safe levels of staffing being available. All women who have booked for home births will be contacted individually regarding this. Anyone who thinks they may be in labour should contact the Labourline on 0300 369 0388.”
Paula added that no midwives are present at Bournemouth Birth Centre. Women who have appointments planned are being contacted to make alternative arrangements.
“We would like to reassure our women that the team of community midwives are working as normal across the Bournemouth and Christchurch area and will be contactable via their mobile numbers in the usual way or at the Community Midwives Office on 01202 704434 (8am until 5pm),” she said.
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