10 February 2021

Eastbourne Midwifery Unit reopens after temporary closure

Eastbourne Midwifery Unit at Eastbourne DGH has re-opened following a temporary closure whilst the Trust responded to the recent wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emma Chambers, Associate Director of Midwifery, said:  “We are delighted that Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU) has reopened for births. We are thrilled to welcome women back to have their babies at EMU and to attend their antenatal and postnatal appointments in Eastbourne. This, along with the reinstatement of homebirths in East Sussex, means that women will once again have the full range of birthing options in East Sussex.

“We continue to take appropriate precautions to keep women, their families, members of staff and midwives safe during this pandemic and we would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding during this temporary suspension.”

More and more women are choosing to give birth at the Trust’s midwife-led unit – around 300 families each year. Recent feedback from national and local maternity surveys have highlighted that the birthing experience at EMU is a positive one. Any families planning for a birth at EMU or a home birth will need to complete a risk assessment with their midwife to make sure that it is the right option for them.

The decision to temporarily move maternity services solely to Conquest Hospital was to remove pressure away South East Coast Ambulance Service which was responding to the latest wave in Covid-19 cases. However, because this pressure has now lowered, the ambulance service is again, able to offer support to expectant mothers with emergency transfer to Conquest Hospital Maternity Unit, if needed.