East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s midwife-led unit, based at Eastbourne DGH, has now reopened following its temporary suspension whilst the organisation responded to the recent wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This follows the recent announcement that East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has also reinstated home births in East Sussex.

Emma Chambers, Associate Director of Midwifery, said:  “We are delighted to announce that Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU) has reopened for births. We are thrilled to be able 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 are taking appropriate precautions to keep women, their families, our 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 ESHT’s midwife-led unit – around 300 families each year. Recent feedback from national and local maternity surveys highlights that the birthing experience at EMU is a positive one.

Any family 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 the Conquest 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 Eastbourne DGH Maternity Unit, if needed.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust provides NHS hospital and community services throughout East Sussex.  We provide our services at two district general hospitals, Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital, community hospitals in Bexhill, Crowborough, Lewes, Rye and Uckfield and a number of clinics and health centres, GP surgeries and in people’s homes.