Skip to main content
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

This site is best viewed with a modern browser. You appear to be using an old version of Internet Explorer.

Maternity services and obstetrics at the Horton

Please see Horton midwifery-led unit for information on the service currently being provided at the Horton and how to find out more.

Maternity and obstetric services

Here at the Horton Maternity Department, Banbury, we offer of range of services to local women and their families.

The Horton Midwifery-led Unit is available to all low-risk women (first-time mothers and those having second, third or fourth babies) who have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, are 37-42 weeks gestation and are expecting a natural birth. Evidence shows that birth in an MLU is safe and suitable for low-risk women and the rate of intervention is lower when compared with an obstetric-unit.

The Horton MLU offers the reassurance of having all the necessary support on hand during normal labour and birth, as well as a comfortable and homely environment with the availability of birthing aids such as beanbags, balls, mats, stools and a birthing pool. Our midwives are able to offer aromatherapy, massage and TENS machine hire (available through the Banbury Community Midwives). Pain relief including Entonox (gas and air) and Meptid (a morphine based injection) are also available. Midwives and Maternity Support Workers at the Horton MLU provide immediate postnatal care to families and you can expect to go home within four to six hours after birth. Any women requiring obstetric care in labour will be transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

The Horton MLU is staffed 24/7 by at least one Midwife and one Maternity Support Worker. We have the facilities to care for more than one woman in labour at a time, as on-call midwives are available.

The Maternity Assessment Clinic (previously Day Assessment Unit) is open 8.00am - 4.00pm and is available for women over 16 weeks' gestation who have any concerns/questions regarding their own or their baby's wellbeing. Queries are triaged and women advised accordingly. Some women can be reviewed at the Horton MAC, whilst others will need to be reviewed at the John Radcliffe Hospital where obstetric care is available.

As well as offering antenatal appointments at local GP surgeries, Banbury Community Midwives provide postnatal care every day of the week via a clinic at the Horton General Hospital. Every family will be seen at home the day after their home birth or discharge from the MLU or hospital and routine appointments thereafter (Day 5 and Day 10) are held at the drop-in clinic. Additional visits/appointments will be offered depending on individual circumstances.

The Antenatal Clinic at the Horton offers women and their families a range of services. Your GP or Community Midwife may recommend an appointment with one of our Obstetric Doctors or Consultants (held every Wednesday and Friday). Other clinics are also available and are run by Senior Midwives and Maternity Support Workers (e.g Lifestyle or Smoking Cessation). You may also be offered an appointment to see one of our Consultant Midwives (e.g for VBAC or Mode of Birth). Even if you are planning to have your baby at the John Radcliffe Hospital, you may still be seen at the Horton Antenatal Clinic unless specialist care is required (e.g Silver Star).

Ultrasound Scan Services are provided at the Horton General Hospital, including routine nuchal/dating scans, fetal anatomy scans and 36 week growth scans. Other scans may be recommended depending on individual circumstances.

Breastfeeding Support is offered by Midwives, Maternity Support Workers and breastfeeding support workers. We will either see you at home or at the Horton General Hospital. You may also be offered an appointment at the Breastfeeding Clinic with our Infant Feeding Team Midwife.

Newborn Hearing Screening is provided at the Horton by one of our Hearing Screeners (we will try and tie in your appointment with your other postnatal appointments for convenience).

The Paediatric Clinic is held Monday to Friday and run by Neonatal Doctors. They can review babies who require initial checks (NIPE), those with acute jaundice or requiring prolonged jaundice screen, those with feeding issues who have already had input from the infant feeding team or any other babies of whom there are concerns but are not acutely unwell.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call us!

  • MLU: 01295 229459
  • Maternity Assessment Clinic: 01295 229779
  • Community Midwives: 01295 229190
  • Antenatal Clinic: 01295 229453 / 4
  • Scan: 01295 229464
  • Scan: 01295 229453 / 4 (20 week scan only)
  • Newborn Hearing Team: 01295 229840

Quality and safety of maternity services

We have agreed with our commissioners a number of quality and safety measures, in addition to those that we regularly report on, to ensure early identification and mitigation of any adverse impact on our patients as a result of the temporary suspension of obstetric-led services at the Horton General Hospital.

These measures relate to patient transfers, any reportable incidents (the Trust has a strong culture of encouraging staff to report any incident, including those which did not result in any harm), recruitment and workforce, and any impact on other Trust services.

Frequently asked questions

Third Option

The Trust received a proposal on 6 September 2016 from Val Ingram from the Keep the Horton General Campaign to retain the Special Care Baby Unit at the Horton General Hospital alongside the suggestion that all but high-risk elective Caesarean sections are undertaken for every Oxfordshire woman at the Horton General Hospital. The Trust has given careful consideration to the proposal outlined and its conclusion is published on the page at the link below:

Recruitment situation for Horton Obstetric Service

View the recruitment situation for Horton Obstetric Service from April 2016 onwards.

DEPARTMENTS AND SERVICES