Southmead Hospital, Bristol

North Bristol NHS Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

Mendip Birth Centre

Contact & visitor information

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

a large unit


births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018



Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • Sterile water injections
  • Epidural
  • Birth pool
  • Other: Dihydrocodeine offered, if epidural required can transfer to delivery suite
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 is a family room and the offer of aromatherapy oils and refreshments.
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 3 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 3 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • If you would like more than two birth partners, they will be asked to rotate.
    • The limit depends on the individual circumstances
    • You can have more birth partners, but a limit applies to the number you can have in the room with you at one time
    • 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
  • Other: 3 large birth rooms all with double beds, a birthing pool and 2 rooms with ensuite bathrooms with shower. Partners can stay overnight.

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 reclining chair
    • Three birth rooms have a double bed, although you'll be transferred from the labour room to a postnatal room after delivery.
  • Your stay after you've given birth
    • After you have given birth you'll be transferred to a bed in the postnatal area
    • Women who've had an uncomplicated birth usually stay for 4-24 hours after the birth
    • If you're transferred to the labour ward during the birth you can 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 3 and for postnatal appointments it's 3.

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

You will be looked after by different midwives for antenatal care, during labour and for postnatal care. If you live out of the hospital catchment area you will be looked after by midwives in your local area for antenatal and postnatal care and come to the hospital for consultant care if required and when you're in labour.

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?

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    Are you at a higher risk of complications?

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    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
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between 18 and 35.0
      • Aged between Case by case basis and 45 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Individualised plan of care for each woman.
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: Bristol, North-East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
      • 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: wet rooms, accessible toilets, ground floor ramp, electric beds, wheelchairs and hoists.
      • Hearing problems: one to one Midwife care. BSL would be contacted and paid for.
      • Sight problems: single rooms, dogs allowed - orientation of the unit prior to coming into birth.
      • Learning disabilities: you will be looked after by Learning Disability team, have an individualised care plan, and your carers are able to stay overnight on ward.
      • Autism spectrum: you will have an individualised care plan.
    • Interpreting service
      • Contact the hospital using the telephone number to arrange an appropriate interpreter. Face-to-face interpreting is not always offered as telephone interpreting often offers more choice.
      • links with community peer support and printed leaflets in other languages.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Substance misuse
      • Vulnerable women

    Women's experiences

    Reviews of this hospital

    Source: Care Opinion
    • I had the most positive and incredible experience

      I recently gave birth at Southmead and had the most positive and incredible experience. I was admitted by my midwife at 38 weeks due to complications which meant I had to be induced, and on...

      by CB6, 16 Jul 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    • Outstanding care

      My wife gave birth to our second child at Central Delivery Suite this week, and then spent two nights on the Percy Phillips Ward. We thought we received great care when our first child was born,...

      by Anonymous, 20 Apr 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


      About the same 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
      • You (plus one) can book a tour of the Birth Centre. Tours run on Saturday and Sunday mornings and are presented by maternity volunteers. To book your place, please contact 0117 414 6894.
      • Take a virtual tour
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Breastfeeding accreditation
    • Neonatal care
      • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provides special care for newborn babies in the local area and also for critically ill babies from the surrounding area who need the highest level of nursing and medical care.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • Tea and coffee available 24hrs.
      • Vending machine
      • 24h use of kitchen facilities
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Via Community Midwife
      • Booking phone number: 0117 950 5050
      • If in labour call: 0117 414 6900
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • There is green space around the unit that you can walk around. There is also a Costa Coffee in the new hospital opposite that you can use.
    • Visiting information
      • Not applicable - No private rooms
      • Partner and own children: 10am-8pm Other visitors: 2-4.30pm and 6.30-7.30pm Two visitors (plus partner) at a time, only children over 13.
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • Drop off outside maternity unit. Pay and display parking spaces available.
      • Drop off outside entrance, free parking for women in labour and up to 7 days following the birth for one car.
    • Parking
      • 0-2 hours: £2.50; 8-24 hours: £8
    • Temporary closures
      • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2017 - Apr 2018: 31
      • Reason for closure: 2hrs for 2 days Reasons for closure include staffing levels, high number of women requiring care, postnatal bed shortages.
      • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: The Midwifery Led Unit
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