New birth centre opens at Northwick Park
A new birth centre opened at Northwick Park Hospital on Tuesday 1 July following a public consultation which supported the transfer of the Brent Birth Centre from Central Middlesex Hospital.
The centre, which is based on the 6th floor of Northwick Park Hospital, has six spacious birthing rooms all with their own bathrooms and two rooms also have birthing pools.
It is run by midwives and provides a homely environment for mothers who want to have a natural birth. All women at the centre will receive one-to-one care from a midwife.
Whilst the Brent Birth Centre at Central Middlesex had been praised for the care it provided to local women, proposals for its future were launched in November last year by Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust and The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust. This was for several reasons, including a lack of demand of the services (with only 300 women using it a year), the costs of the running the service as a result of this and the fact that it was not located with an obstetric unit.
Local people and organisations had three months in which to give their views on a range of options and supported plans to move the Brent Birth Centre to Northwick Park and keep antenatal services at Central Middlesex Hospital so women would only have to travel to Northwick Park for their birth.
Chief Executive of The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, Fiona Wise, said: “Whilst the birth centre has a new location, I believe we have been able to retain the many positive aspects of the care offered at the Brent Birth Centre including its home from home environment. In its new location we hope that we can offer this midwifery led service to around 1,000 women across Brent and Harrow.”
In its first week, the unit has already delivered 10 babies which is a very positive start. Women can ask their GP or their midwife about whether they are able to use the Birth Centre and they can get further information and a tour of the unit by contacting the Maternity Unit at one of their antenatal visits.
Antenatal clinic services are continuing to be provided at Central Middlesex Hospital to maintain a local service for women in Brent. These services are being relocated within the main hospital building from October in order to bring together the other services women access including ultrasound and phlebotomy.