Cossham Hospital temporarily suspends birthing unit due to lack of staff

All antenatal and postnatal clinics at Cossham are unaffected

Deliveries at a Bristol birthing centre have been temporarily suspended due to a lack of staff, from today (October 18). Staff sickness and vacancies have forced Cossham Hospital to impose the suspension.

North Bristol NHS Trust’s Chief Nursing Officer issued a statement to Bristol World which said the unit will divert those in labour to the Mendip Birth Centre at Southmead Hospital - roughly a 20-minute drive away.

Professor Steve Hams said: “Like many NHS organisations across the country, we are facing workforce challenges due to sickness and vacancies. As a result, we have decided to temporarily suspend our birthing service at Cossham Birth Centre and divert labouring women to the midwife-led Mendip Birth Centre at Southmead Hospital - this will ensure that we are able to maintain a safe service.

“We have temporarily suspended the service before in similar circumstances and our focus has always been on resuming the full service as soon as possible. Our improved home birth service, which launched this month, will continue to be available as an option for women on a case-by-case basis.

Cossham Hospital has suspended its birthing unit.

“All antenatal and postnatal clinics at Cossham are unaffected and running as normal. Any woman worried about this decision should, in the first instance contact their midwife.”

On the NHS website, Cossham Birth Centre says it offers birth in a home from home environment with birthing pools, aromatherapy, massage and a focus on active birth. Women from anywhere across Bristol can give birth there.

Facilities include four en-suite birthrooms furnished with floor mats, cushiosn and birth balls. There is also a water pool in each room, plus a double bed for a partner to stay in durin the pregnancy.