We are working hard to protect women, babies and our midwives during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
In line with national guidance we have already made changes to visiting arrangements and antenatal appointments at our hospitals.
We have now made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our home birth service.
We appreciate the time, thought and planning that goes into preparing for a home birth and we fully recognise how disappointing this decision will be.
Midwifery teams will be making contact with women who will be affected by this decision in the next few days to talk everything through with them and plan their ongoing care.
Anna Shasha, Director of Midwifery at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, said:
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“Our teams are working hard to protect women and their babies during these unprecedented times and they are constantly reviewing how we run Maternity services.
“For everyone’s safety – our staff, pregnant women, babies and their families – we have taken the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend our homebirth service with immediate effect.
“We recognise this decision may be disappointing, but our priority is keeping everyone we care for safe and this will help us to achieve that as part of our ongoing response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
“We continue to run a full Maternity service at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals and we look forward to welcoming women there for the birth of their babies.”