Update to maternity services across Sussex

We are very sorry, but due to the current unprecedented situation with an increase in cases of COVID-19 across Sussex, immediate changes are being made to maternity services to ensure that all births can take place as safely as possible.

Our local ambulance service is under significant pressure. Whilst they are prioritising urgent 999 calls, including emergency pregnancy issues, the ambulance service will be stretched and response times may be delayed.

This includes attending home addresses for complications that can arise during home births, and attending for complications that can arise at stand-alone midwife led units where women/people may need to be transferred to another maternity unit.

This means that giving birth in both of these venues (home births and stand-alone midwife led units) presents a higher degree of risk.

The safety of births is our priority, so across Sussex the decision has been made to suspend planned home births and births at stand-alone midwife led units at this time.

Our teams are working to ensure that our maternity services are as accommodating as possible. There are many ways you can be supported to ensure your birth is a positive experience, as close as possible to the experience you were expecting. The home birthing teams and midwife-led unit midwives will be available to continue to provide care if you were planning a home birth or a midwife-led unit birth.

We are very sorry if these changes cause you distress. Our teams are very happy to talk to you about your birthing plans and how you can be supported in the best possible way.