Women in our area are being discouraged from having a home birth due to staff shortages at the Rosie Maternity Hospital.
A pilot scheme began a month ago where the community midwives are required to work in the delivery unit and birth centre instead of being available in the community for home births.
Ellie Crowe booked a home birth after caesarean (HBAC), she said:
“It wasn’t until I was 34 weeks pregnant that they mentioned that they might not be able to send a midwife due to staffing issues. I was crestfallen. I left the appointment in tears and spent the next few days not sleeping very well and in an anxious state. I made an appointment with the Consultant Midwife. After the meeting, my agreed home birth plan was issued and disseminated. However, I later received a legal letter which again cast doubt over whether a midwife would attend. I was so close to my due date I chose to ignore it.”
Ellie’s baby boy was born safely at home in early November 2015 with two community midwives in attendance.
Women planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) already have limited birth place choice of delivery unit or home birth; officially* they are not allowed in the Rosie Birth Centre.
Compromising the home birth service in this way limits choice for ALL high risk women who aren’t automatically allowed access to the Rosie Birth Centre.
Cambridge Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MLSC) announced on 16th November that The Rosie board had agreed to employ 9 whole time equivalent midwives, together with 6 whole time equivalent band 3 support workers.
This is a positive step forward but we do not know how long the pilot scheme will continue or when the community midwives, with their expertise in home birth, will return to the community.
If you have been put off homebirth due to staffing difficulties at The Rosie or have had problems booking a home birth please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
* However, it is possible to have a VBAC in the Rosie Birth Centre, we know of eight women who have. Read Kirsty’s birth story and check out the Rosie’s care pathway for women requesting a VBAC outside the delivery unit on the Rosie Hospital VBAC data page.