Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

Giving birth

Our midwives have a strong ethos of promoting the normal in childbirth while ensuring the highest standards of safety.

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05 January 2020

Due to the unprecedented increase in COVID cases, the local ambulance service is under significant pressure. They are prioritising urgent 999 calls including emergency pregnancy issues however, response times may be delayed.

The decision has therefore been made to suspend planned homebirths and births at stand-alone midwife led units across Sussex at this time due to the higher degree of risk should complications arise.

We understand this is disappointing, but we will do all we can to make women/people’s birth experience positive and as close as possible to the home from home environment. This can include low lighting, beds pushed to the side of the room, the use of birthing balls and mats. Our home birthing team will also be available to provide care within the unit where possible.

Our team are contacting those who are expecting a home birth in the coming weeks to discuss how we can support them. Please get in touch with your named midwife if you would like to discuss what this means for you or send an enquiry via Family Assist. Alternatively you can contact the Western Sussex, Patient Liaison Service (PALS) with any questions. We will continue to keep you updated via Family Assist if and when this position changes.

We will continue to keep you updated if and when this position changes. It is expected to last for at least three weeks initially.

For urgent medical concerns, please call our Triage and Maternity Assessment Unit numbers as usual.

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.

These pages are still being developed as part of our new maternity website so do check back with us as we add more information about your options for giving birth and what you can expect during labour.

In the meantime, you can get all the information and advice you need through Family Assist, a great resource for new parents, their families and friends to help and support them as their babies develop.

Family Assist is managed by Western Sussex Hospitals and our partners at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and West Sussex County Council.

Click on the Family Assist logo to find out more:


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