For the attention of all women currently booked for care with Surrey Hills Homebirth team.
In light of the current Global pandemic Covid 19 and national guidance from NHS England, it is with deepest regret that I have taken the decision to temporarily suspend our ability to offer women the choice to birth at home.
This decision has never been taken in the nine years that the Surrey Hills Homebirth team has been operational and clearly demonstrates the unprecedented events we are currently living through.
This decision has been taken with careful consideration of all options and potential risks to mothers and their babies. Two key considerations that affected this decision were;
• Support for the ambulance service to ensure that all of their resources can be directed to those most in need at this time
• Our ability to maintain safe midwifery staffing, which may not be possible within the smaller homebirth team if a midwife needs to self-isolate
I understand that this will be a great disappointment for you. Please be assured that a safe birth for you and your baby is at the centre of every decision made throughout this period of readjustment of the maternity service.
All antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be provided by your midwives from the Surrey Hills team and they will be contacting you all by phone to make arrangements for this. It is possible that they will also be able to support your birth within the maternity unit. We are following all national guidance and can assure you that giving birth within the maternity unit is a very safe option.
If you have any questions, please contact your midwife in the first instance who will refer to myself or a member of the senior midwifery team for further guidance if required. Please be advised that this suspension is in place with immediate effect, and will be reviewed when the national lock-down restrictions, freedom of movement and normal staffing levels are restored.
Please accept my sincere apologies for this course of events.
Deputy Director of Midwifery & Divisional Head of Nursing, Women & Children