Watford General Hospital

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

Alexandra Birth Centre

Contact & visitor information

A birth centre is a more homely environment, where the focus is on birth without medical intervention.

a very large unit


births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018



Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Local Neonatal Unit (LNU)

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
Find out more about pain relief during labour

Having a baby here

During labour and birth

  • If you arrive in the early stages of labour
    • You'll be seen by a midwife who will check the progress of your labour
    • You'll be encouraged to go home
    • There's a dedicated area where women can keep active
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the antenatal ward
    • You can be admitted to the delivery suite/birthing room
    • Personalised care is offered to all women presenting to the birth centre in the early stages of labour, to meet their individual needs. Women are encouraged to be an active part in making decisions about their care
  • Birthing rooms
    • 7 Birthing room(s)
    • 2 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 2 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • The limit depends on the individual circumstances
    • You can have the following number of birth partners with you during labour: 2

Birth facilities

  • Aromatherapy service
  • Bean bags
  • Birth balls
  • Birth mats
  • Birthing couch
  • Dimmable lighting
  • iPod dock
  • Reclining chair
  • Supporting rope or sling
  • TENS machine
  • Hypnobirthing
  • Birthing stools
  • TV
  • Rocking chair

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are not available.
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Partners can stay on the postnatal ward on a chair
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a camp bed/sofa
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • You'll be able to stay in the same room throughout your stay
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 6-12 hours after the birth
    • If you're transferred to the labour ward during the birth you can't come back to the birth centre postnatally
  • Contact & visitor information

How many midwives will I meet?

The maximum number of different midwives you're likely to see for antenatal appointments is 4 and for postnatal appointments it's 4.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born, but different midwives when you're in labour.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy and during labour, but different midwives after your baby is born.

You'll see the same midwives throughout your pregnancy, during labour and after your baby is born.

Continuity of care is provided, wherever possible. At West Hertfordshire, we have started introducing the recommendations from Better Births with regards to the provision of continuity of carer. This means some of our community midwifery teams are being integrated with birth unit midwives, to continue working towards achieving continuity of carer through the childbearing process.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife


* We’ve adjusted the data where it’s based on a small number of women to ensure confidentiality
Compared to the national average, women were:
    What is your situation?

    Is this your first birth?

    Have you had a caesarean for a previous birth?

    Are you at a higher risk of complications?

    Clear answers

    Is this the best unit for you?

    Find out more about your local options and where you want to give birth

    Use our tool to find out

    Who can give birth here?

    • This birth centre/midwife-led unit is the default option for low risk women at this hospital
    • Eligibility
      • Baby must be head down
      • You can discuss having your baby here, even if you don't fit the following criteria.
      • Can be Group B Strep positive
      • Straightforward pregnancy
      • Straightforward previous pregnancies
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between 18 and 35.0
      • Aged between 18 and 40 years old
      • Between 37 and 41+5 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 4 previous babies
      • Normal blood pressure and not anaemic (Hb Level greater than 9.5) with no other medical or obstetric risk factors identified.
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: Watford and Three Rivers, St Albans, Dacorum, part of Hillingdon.
      • You can give birth here even if you don't live in the catchment area

    Support services

    • Accessibility
      • Wheelchair access to the wards and delivery suite
      • Limited mobility: Rooms are en-suite with access to support those with limited mobility.
      • Hearing problems: Signing interpreters can be booked by contacting PALS on 0192 321 7187. Find the support request form on http://www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/patients/patientservices/pals.asp
      • Sight problems: Rooms can be adapted and we accommodate birth partners outside normal visiting times.
      • Learning disabilities: There is a vulnerable adults team who collaborate on care with the delivery suite and other specialist teams. This hospital uses a 'Purple Folder' system to support those with learning disabilities.
      • Autism spectrum: you will be caseloaded by the vulnerable adults team and cared for collaboratively with delivery suite, they also have access to specialist general teams. This hospital uses a 'Purple Folder' system to support those with learning disabilities.
    • Interpreting service
      • Contact PALS on 0192 321 7187. Find support request form on http://www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/patients/patientservices/pals.asp
      • 24 hour access to interpreter service
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Substance misuse
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • Specialist midwifery teams jointly cover community, birthing center and delivery suite

    Women's experiences

    Reviews of this hospital

    Source: Care Opinion
    • Excellent care

      I received excellent care throughout my pregnancy and had a positive birth experience in delivery suite. All midwives and staff I encountered were knowledgeable, caring and supportive, helping me...

      by Anonymous, 13 Aug 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    • Meeting with a gynaecologist during pregnancy

      Had a meeting with a consultant which was like ticking boxes. Not bothered about talking to me. Answered my questions very briefly. Definitely don’t want to see the same consultant again. I felt...

      by Anonymous, 25 Jul 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    Source: CQC

    Care Quality Commission (CQC) Maternity Services Survey 2015

    Scores are for the NHS Trust that this hospital is part of.

    • Labour and birth

    • Staff

    • Care in hospital after birth

    • Labour and birth


      Worse compared with other trusts

    • Staff


      About the same compared with other trusts

    • Care in hospital after birth


      About the same compared with other trusts

    General information

    • Tours
      • First and third Tuesday of every month, 6pm. Drop in and chat with midwives or phone 0192 321 7364
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Breastfeeding accreditation
    • Neonatal care
      • Local neonatal unit (LNU) provides special care for newborn babies in the local area, except for those who are critically ill and need intensive care.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • The main restaurant is open at weekends and from 7:15am-8pm on week days. There are also local restaurants/cafes near by and easy access to the town centre
      • Vending machine
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Via your GP
      • Booking phone number: 0192 321 7339 ext. 7501
      • If in labour call: 0192 3217343
      Book online
    • Outside space
      • There is no outside space available for women in labour
    • Visiting information
      • Not applicable - No private rooms
      • Partners and own children: 8am-9pm. Other relatives, friends: 3.30pm - 8.30pm (only two visitors per woman at any time). No children under the age of 14 will be permitted, unless they are mother/partner's own.
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • 30 minute drop-off bays outside the women and children's block where maternity is situated.
      • Drop off outside entrance maximum 30 minutes stay
    • Parking
      • Charging applies 24 hours, Monday - Sunday. Up to 10 minutes: free (in designated bays) Up to 1 hour: £2, 1-2 hours: £4, 2-3 hours: £6, 3-4 hours: £8, 4-6 hours: £12, 6-24 hours: £15. Weekly ticket: £20. Please note that some patient concessions are available for inpatients.
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