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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Antenatal care

July 2020 - COVID-19 update

For updated information please see:


COVID-19 and pregnancy care

John Radcliffe

For your wellbeing, and for the health of your baby, please attend all your antenatal clinic appointments, either in the hospital with your midwife and/or with the GP.

If you have an appointment card please bring it with you. If you are unable to attend a hospital appointment, please inform that clinic.

At the Jonn Radcliffe Hospital Women's Centre there is a comfortable waiting area and a small children's play area. A refreshment bar is run by the League of Friends.

Maternity Assessment

Day Assessment Unit, Level 6

Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Tel: 01865 221 711/2

Outpatients are seen when referred by community midwives, GPs or other hospital departments.

Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU), Level 2

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Tel: 01865 220 221

We see women coming to the Women's Centre in labour who are planning to have their babies on the Delivery Suite. We also see women at other stages of their pregnancy, if they are referred by their community midwife or GP.

You may be referred to the MAU in pregnancy if your community midwife has any concerns about you or your baby's health. The community midwife will ensure that the MAU phone number is in your hand-held notes, and tell you which issues you will need to talk to us about if they arise in your pregnancy. Please contact the MAU directly if you have concerns in the evening, at nights or at the weekend.

Our midwives talk to women on the phone and may invite them to come in to be assessed if they are in labour or if they have any concerns.

We do have to prioritise care for those in most need, so it is a good idea to bring something to read while you wait to be seen. Our receptionist staff and midwives will keep you updated, but if you are worried about the waiting time, please do speak to the staff on duty.

Women in labour may be assessed by midwives on the MAU, and then transferred to the most suitable birth environment or discharged home. If there are any concerns or complications, they will be reviewed by a doctor.


Banbury Community Midwives

Banbury Community Midwives provide antenatal care at local GP surgeries, the Horton Antenatal Clinic or on the Midwifery-led Unit. They also support home births and births in the Midwifery-led Unit, so your community midwife may care for you during labour and/or be present for the birth.

The day after a home birth, or a discharge from the midwifery-led unit or hospital, a midwife or maternity support worker will visit the family at home.

Following the initial visit, further routine check-ups are arranged for around day 5-8 and around day 10 after the birth - additional appointments may be required. Appointments may be at home, in drop-in clinics or at the midwifery-led unit; we arrange this with the family.

Midwife Assessment Clinic (MAC)

  • Opening Monday to Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm
  • Tel: 01295 229779

The Midwife Assessment Clinic is staffed by a midwife and maternity support worker. Appointments are available for women over 16 weeks' pregnant with concerns or questions about their own or their baby's wellbeing.

If obstetric care, or a doctor's review is required, we may advise that the woman is seen at the John Radcliffe Hospital Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) in Oxford.

Antenatal Clinic

Consultant-led antenatal clinics are run from the Horton on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

Your GP or community midwife may recommend an appointment with one of our obstetric consultants. Even if you are planning to have your baby at the John Radcliffe Hospital we can still see you at the Horton Antenatal Clinic unless specialist care is required, for example through the Maternal or Fetal Medicine Unit in Oxford or Silver Star.

Your midwife or GP may offer you an appointment at other Horton clinics:

  • Lifestyle Clinic
  • Anaesthetic Clinic
  • Smoking Cessation Clinic
  • Perinatal Mental Health Clinic.

We may offer you an appointment to see one of our consultant midwives (e.g. for Birth After Caesarean (BAC) or Mode of Birth).


Scans provided at the Horton Midwifery-led Unit include:

  • routine nuchal / dating scans
  • fetal anatomy scans
  • 36 week growth scans.

Other scans may be recommended depending on individual circumstances.

Birth After Caesarean (BAC) clinic

The Birth After Caesarean (BAC) clinic is for women who have concerns about having a vaginal birth when they have had a Caesarean birth previously.

The aim of this clinic is to help women make an informed choice about the birth of their baby.

Breech Clinic

If, at 36 weeks, a baby is lying bottom or feet down, rather than head down, they are in the 'breech' position.

Breech presentation happens in around four percent of pregnancies as the due date approaches.

It is natural to be anxious if this is the case with your baby, but finding out at the 36 week scan does offer time and the ability to make choices about what is right for you.

If your baby is breech, we will write to you after your 36 week scan offering an appointment to explore your options in our Breech Clinic.

The options are:

  • External Cephalic Version (ECV) - a process by which a breech baby can sometimes be moved into the head-down position manually (recommended by national guidelines); the process is successful approximately 50 percent of the time and can be performed at the Breech Clinic on the same day if you wish

and if you do not wish to try ECV, or if it is unsuccessful:

  • vaginal breech birth (for which we have a dedicated on-call team)
  • planned caesarean delivery.

At our Breech Clinic the approach is one of reducing your risk in childbirth, and we offer to turn your baby to enable a normal birth.

We have run an ECV service successfully for 20 years, and have written papers on the safety of this. The data we keep have helped in writing national guidance.

However, some women choose to do nothing immediately, preferring to put their faith in maternal positioning.

Alternatively, there is also a traditional Chinese medicine technique called moxibustion, which when used with acupuncture may result in fewer births by caesarean section, and when combined with maternal positioning techniques may reduce the number of babies that are not head down at birth.

Contact us

Breech Team:

This is not an emergency line - please call MAU with any pregnancy concerns: 01865 220221


Breech Birth UK on Facebook

Breech Birth UK is a Facebook group with around 3,000 members, run by a mother who had a breech birth some years ago.

Women can post their experiences and discuss their decisions and plans; we recognise support from mothers in a similar situation can be beneficial.