Homebirth Service Reinstated
We are pleased to advise that Home Birth Services will be reinstated in Surrey from midday on Thursday 12 January 2023 for those women and birthing people who choose this option, following the temporary suspension of home births in December 2022.
Despite the demand on South East Coast Ambulance services remaining high, we recognise that having a home birth is an important choice to provide. Our midwifery staff want to help women, birthing people and their partners to make a birth plan that feels right for them which is based on relevant, up to date information.
In the rare instances when emergency care is necessary during a home birth and an ambulance is required, the South East Coast Ambulance Service is not able guarantee a timely ambulance response on every occasion. This is due to the ongoing pressure on services. Safety is always our top priority, and it is important that families are aware of this risk when they are considering a home birth. Midwifery staff will discuss the choices available, and the associated risks, with each family individually to help them make an informed decision about their birth plan.
Home Birth Services will be suspended during periods of industrial action taken by South East Coast Ambulance staff to help ensure the safety of women and birthing people and their babies at these times.
If you have any queries about your individual care and support please talk to your midwife, or you may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service or your local Maternity Voices Partnership who can be found on Facebook.
About the Service
If you are healthy, are having an uncomplicated pregnancy and live within the area where we provide a community midwifery service, you may want to consider a homebirth as an option. Homebirth has been shown to reduce the likelihood of interventions in health pregnancies. Homebirth is not an advisable option should a complication arise in your pregnancy, or if you have either a medical or obstetric history that indicates that a hospital birth is more appropriate.
We aim to run a 24-hour service but very occasionally this not possible because the community midwives maybe attending another homebirth or it maybe due to staff sickness. On these very rare occasions your Midwife will keep you informed and explore other options with you.
Gemma Puckett, Head of Midwifery
James Thomas, Divisional Director Women’s and Children’s