'Environmental concerns' mean women cannot give birth at Blake Maternity Centre in Gosport

PREGNANT women have voiced their sadness after a maternity centre announced it is unable to accommodate them when it comes to giving birth.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 7:05 am

Blake Maternity Centre, based at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Bury Road, revealed it is currently unable to facilitate births at the centre due to ‘environmental concerns’.

The site is used by women who don’t want to travel to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham to give birth, as well as supporting them through the pregnancy process with midwife appointments, classes and more.

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Gosport War Memorial Hospital, Bury Road, Gosport. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (230219-5)

Although the centre claims this is a temporary measure, some women who were preparing to give birth at the centre feel let down by the news.

Faye Hall, 30 from Alver Village, is concerned about having to go to QA to give birth.

The mother-of-one is 31 weeks pregnant.

‘I haven’t been told why this has happened or how long it is closed for, so I find that quite worrying,’ she said.

‘I don’t want to have to travel to QA Hospital during rush hour.

‘My daughter Harper was born at Blake and it was wonderful, it’s a very personal and intimate experience.’

Lauren Holt, 29 from Rowner, is 25 weeks pregnant, expecting a baby girl in January.

She said: ‘My other little girl, Laila, was born at QA Hospital, but I found myself wanting a more direct, one-to-one type of care.

‘I though Blake Maternity Centre would be the best place for my baby to be born, because I’ve been going to quite a few midwife appointments and I know people who have given birth there and they were really happy with it.

‘When I found this out I felt quite sad.’

Liz Rix, chief nurse at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, says the environment must be brought up to an ‘acceptable’ level – but did not confirm the nature of the issue.

She said: ‘We have taken the decision to temporarily suspend births at Blake Birthing Centre due to environmental concerns.

‘Women who have requested to birth at Blake in the coming weeks are being contacted and offered alternative options including the Mary Rose Unit, the low risk unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital and Portsmouth Maternity Centre at St Mary’s Health Campus in Portsmouth.

‘This is a temporary measure while we look at how we bring the environment up to an acceptable standard. Antenatal and postnatal clinics and parent education are not affected and will continue at the birthing centre.’