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Wantage and Chipping Norton Midwifery-led Units reopen

Wantage Community Hospital, where the Wantage MLU is based

Two Midwifery-led Units (MLUs) run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) have reopened after a period of temporary closure.

The Wantage and Chipping Norton (Cotswold Birth Centre) MLUs were closed to families for low-risk births in August 2021 due to staffing constraints.

Having worked with regional NHS colleagues, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and Oxfordshire Joint Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), the Trust now has a safe level of staffing to provide safe care at these units.

Both locations reopened on Monday 9 January 2023.

Catherine Greenwood, Clinical Director for Maternity at the Trust, said: "We are really pleased to be able to offer greater birth choices for parents with the reopening of our Midwifery-led Units (MLUs) in Wantage and Chipping Norton.

"We appreciate that these two units have been temporarily closed for a long time, and we apologise wholeheartedly to the families who were impacted by this and anyone unable to give birth in their preferred location.

"Any decisions about service provision are made with patient and staff safety being the number one priority, and we know from the national picture that there will be future challenges related to workforce. We are committed to delivering the safest care possible, and we have been frustrated at not being able to provide the full service that we have wanted to.

"Thank you to my colleagues at all levels who have worked so hard to reintroduce full maternity services at OUH and for maintaining one-to-one care standards during a difficult time."

Women more than 36 weeks pregnant who wish to give birth at either the Wantage or Chipping Norton MLUs can contact their community midwife so this can be arranged. Women less than 36 weeks pregnant do not need to do anything.