Cossham Birth Centre to reopen
Campaigner Lauren Pinkett with her children
A MUM who gave birth to her three children at Cossham Hospital's midwife-led centre has welcomed the news it will be business as usual from the autumn.
Lauren Pinkett started an online petition last October after the centre temporarily closed due to an "unprecedented" number of women needing inductions and a shortage of midwives.
Now North Bristol NHS Trust has said the recruitment drive has been successful and Cossham Birth Centre will reopen from October 21.
It will operate under an “open on arrival” model as well as the associated homebirth service. This means the homebirth staffing rota would provide low-risk women assessed as suitable the opportunity to give birth at Cossham or at home. If a Cossham birth was appropriate the midwife would meet the woman at the birth centre. After the birth, the mum and baby would go home and the midwives would ensure it is ready for the next birth. The birth centre would be operational in the daytime for community midwifery clinics. However, the birth centre would be closed during the night unless a birth is taking place as no other midwifery services run overnight.
Under this model, which applies at day or night, if the home birth team is occupied with a birth then other mothers in labour would be offered Mendip Birth Centre, based at Southmead Hospital, as an alternative.
Lauren, whose petition attracted more than 4,000 names, has been involved in discussions about the future of the unit and kept informed of developments.
She said: “This will be beneficial for all involved. I am thrilled for all expectant parents who still wish to birth at Cossham and the midwives who will be able to return and work back in the maternity unit. It will take some time to be fully established, but this is a great stepping stone
and in keeping Kingswood’s heritage.”
North Bristol NHS Trust director of Nursing and Quality, Helen Blanchard, said:
“We’ve always been committed to reopening Cossham Birth Centre.We’re sorry some women haven’t been able to give birth there these past few months but this has always been about putting all of our services on a safe and sustainable footing for the long term.”