The NHS Trust which runs maternity services in the area, have said they are planning for the reintroduction of births at the midwife-led birthing centre in the “near future”.
Births at Crowborough Hospital and home births were suspected on 31st December, because of the effect the pandemic was having on ambulance response times. The ambulance service could not guarantee an emergency ambulance would be available to transfer mother and baby from Crowborough to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, if an obstetrician and anaesthetist was required if there were complications.
At the beginning of February, the ambulance service gave the go-ahead for home births to be re-introduced. However, Crowborough remained closed for births, because Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust had to transfer staff who would usually be working in the birth centre to Tunbridge Wells Hospital to help support the staff there. The Trust have said they have seen an increase in the number of people who want to have their baby in Tunbridge Wells. Staff are continuing to provide antenatal and postnatal care at Crowborough birth centre and the Trust hope to reopen for births when they have enough midwives to do so.
A spokesperson for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said:
Crowborough Birth Centre is providing antenatal and postnatal care to pregnant people.
Some of the centre’s midwives are currently supporting our maternity teams at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and we are planning for the reintroduction of births at the centre in the near future.
We are continuing to support home births and our midwifery-led home birth rooms are also available at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.”Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust