Women will be able to choose to give birth at Walsall’s Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU) from early next year as it was announced today that it would re-open on 6 January 2020.
As well as re-opening for births the unit – which is the Black Country’s only freestanding MLU – will continue to offer supportive antenatal, postnatal and perinatal mental health clinics.
Births were suspended at the unit in Charles Street in 2017 due to midwifery staffing concerns throughout maternity at Walsall Manor Hospital. This suspension was regularly reviewed and a recruitment campaign has been ongoing as part of efforts to stabilise the service and improve staffing.
Maternity Services received a rating of “Good” from the Care Quality Commission in 2019 and pregnant women registered with all GP practices, regardless of address, are now able to give birth at Walsall Manor Hospital if they choose.
Walsall Maternity Services are also now accepting transfer bookings for any pregnant women who wish to give birth at Walsall Manor Hospital who are currently booked elsewhere.
Carla Jones-Charles, interim Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We have been working hard across our teams in maternity services to be able to re-open our MLU for births for low risk women and this is a fantastic way to start 2020 for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
“We will be providing greater options for birth as detailed in the Better Births recommendations and we know that research shows that low risk women are more likely to have better outcomes if they receive care within an MLU and are less likely to need intervention.
“We believe there are many compelling reasons why women should choose to give birth in Walsall and we look forward to supporting them to do so.”
Women will be encouraged to speak to their community midwife at their 36 week appointment about birthing on the MLU. Midwives, or women can ring the MLU directly for advice
Carol King Stephens is organising tours of the MLU and they can be booked by calling the unit direct on 01922 721172 ext 5422.