Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

Rushey 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
    • There's an area where you can be assessed
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • Early Labour Lounge, kitchen, chairs, birth balls
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 1 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 1 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • The limit on number of birth supporters is strict
    • 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: AVE Active Birth Beds, Peanut balls, Cube shaped couch

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are available.
    • 16
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Partners can stay in a room with you on a reclining chair
  • 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'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 will be looked after by a small team of midwives according to postcode and will be seen both antenatally and postnatally. You may only see 1-2 midwives within your pregnancy depending on the size of the team. There are also integrated posts within the community and delivery/midwife led unit where it may be possible for your named midwife to care for you 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?

    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
      • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
      • BMI between no lower limit and 35.0
      • Aged between no lower limit and 40 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 6 previous babies
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: Berkshire West, South Oxfordshire, Berkshire East
      • 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: All beds are adjustable on all ward areas, with access to bathrooms/showers. The pool room on delivery has a built in hoist if required. Other equipment is available at request for specific needs and this can be arranged alongside individual care plans made with women and their midwife/doctor.
      • Hearing problems: We have access to British Sign Language Interpreters through our website and also visual aids to assist with communication
      • Learning disabilities: the Poppy Team care for vulnerable women and ensure all the relevant agencies are involved on supporting women with learning disabilities
    • Interpreting service
      • Prestige face to face and telephone service available 24/7
      • We have leaflets readily available in different languages for women to access, and some of our signs are also printed in different languages.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Substance misuse
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • consultant midwives

    Women's experiences

    Reviews of this hospital

    Source: Care Opinion
    • Disappointing pre-natal and post-natal care

      I recently had my second baby and when I fell pregnant with her I was apprehensive to say the least after receiving pretty poor pre and post natal care in my first pregnancy. Several of my...

      by Vb1235667, 14 Aug 2019

      Read on Care Opinion
    • Very friendly and professional

      I have given birth to our wonderful baby in RBH and just want to say a HUGE thank you to our midwives , to the doctor and to the whole maternity team there. Everyone there is an amazing person as...

      by Anonymous, 07 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


      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
      • calling the birth centre directly to arrange an appropriate time. Tours may not always be available if the unit is full or busy.
    • 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
      • Vending machines
      • Vending machine
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      community midwife
      • Booking phone number: 0118 3228964
      • If in labour call: 0118 322 7304
    • Outside space
      • There is no outside space available for women in labour
    • Visiting information
      • Visitor hours remain the same for the wards and amenity rooms
      • No visitors allowed on to the ward apart from the birthing partners, unless agreed with the midwife in charge of the shift at the time.
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • Free parking for partners
      • Drop off outside entrance maximum 30 minutes stay
    • Parking
      • Up to 1 hour: £1.50, 1-2 hours: £3, 2-3 hours: £4.50, 3-4 hours: £6, 6 hours: £9. All day parking £12.
    • Temporary closures
      • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2017 - Apr 2018: 92
      • Reason for closure: The unit was closed for 4 days due to flooding and 2 days due to heating problems. The remainder of closures have been due to staff shortages and high workload in other areas of the maternity unit, with times varying from 4-24 hours each time.
      • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: The Delivery Suite
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