29 February 2024

Update on Eastbourne Midwifery Unit

Since mid-December, due to staffing challenges facing our maternity services in Eastbourne, we have redeployed staff from the Eastbourne Midwifery Unit into our community midwifery team to ensure that we are able to continue to provide safe maternity care within the community.

Eastbourne Midwifery Unit - bedroom

To provide certainty for patients we are now undertaking a review with maternity colleagues to develop a new staffing model that will enable us to resume births at Eastbourne DGH and provide safe community midwifery services. We are committed to completing this work by the end of April.

The current suspension is just the latest over recent months and underlines the challenge around recruiting trained midwives due to the national shortage. The suspension impacts around three births a week, but the unit has remained open throughout for outpatient antenatal and postnatal services.

Our maternity team are in touch with anyone who is affected, to discuss their options which include giving birth at home or at Conquest Hospital, and reassuring them that they will be fully supported with safe and effective maternity care.