Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Alongside Birth Centre

The Heath 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

556

births from Apr 2014 to Apr 2015

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3

Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Special Care Unit (SCU)

Pain-relief options

  • Entonox (gas and air)
  • Diamorphine
  • Meptid
  • Morphine sulphate (Oramorph)
  • Pethidine
  • Remifentanil
  • 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 an area where you can be assessed
    • 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
    • All rooms en suite
  • Birthing rooms
    • 3 Birthing room(s)
    • 1 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 1 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • 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
  • 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 reclining chair
    • 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 6-24 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 2 and for postnatal appointments it's 2.

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

40% of women who book with the service live out of hospital catchment area

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife

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 29.0
    • Aged between 18 and 39 years old
    • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
    • Maximum of 5 previous babies
    • See https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/services/services-a-z/maternity-services/maternity-care-at-the-royal-free-hospital/health-birth-centre/ for eligibility criteria
  • Catchment area
    • Women who live within the catchment area: Parts of Camden, Barnet and Brent
    • 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: Disabled access to all areas
    • Hearing problems: Sign language interpreters
    • Sight problems: Braille translation
    • Learning disabilities: There is a specialist team of midwives who provide care for vulnerable women. A family care plan will be organised and shared with people involved in your care.
    • Autism spectrum: There is a specialist team of midwives who provide care for vulnerable women. A family care plan will be organised and shared with people involved in your care.
  • Interpreting service
    • The interpreting service exists for patients who speak little or no English and patients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and require communication support. All interpreting, both face-to-face and telephone interpreting is provided to the trust by external providers. Interpreting services available include telephone interpreting, face-to-face interpreting, British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, Sign Support English (SSE) interpreter, Lip speaker and British touch sign interpreters and Braille translation
  • Specialist midwifery teams
    • Antenatal Screening
    • Bereavement
    • Diabetes
    • Infant feeding
    • Perinatal mental health
    • Substance misuse
    • Teenage pregnancy
    • Vulnerable women
    • Fetal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and Haemoglobinopathies Specialist Midwife

Women's experiences

Reviews of this hospital

Source: Care Opinion
  • Labor ward, excellent service

    Just deliverd my 3rd baby at the royal free and again excellent service received. Midwives were all amazing and very professional. Ward was very busy when I attended with little staff available due...

    by Anonymous, 05 May 2019

    Read on Care Opinion
  • Botched blood test

    I had to have a routine blood test. The nurse attempted three times to find my vein and failed. She even tried twice in the same spot. No apology, no plaster. A second nurse had a fourth go and dug...

    by Anonymous, 18 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

    8.3/10

    Worse compared with other trusts

  • Staff

    8.4/10

    About the same compared with other trusts

  • Care in hospital after birth

    7.5/10

    About the same compared with other trusts

General information

  • Tours
  • Non-NHS Care
    • Private maternity care isn't available here.
  • Breastfeeding accreditation
  • Neonatal care
    • Special care unit (SCU) provides neonatal care for babies in the local area who need extra support but who don't require high dependency care.
  • Food for partners out-of-hours
    • There is a selection of vending machines located throughout the hospital in the maternity department, A&E and theatres departments as well as in the Foodhouse restaurant. These serve hot and cold beverages, soups and snacks including a healthy option.
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  • Contact information
  • How to book once you're pregnant
    Via your GP
    Book directly from 10 weeks of pregnancy
    • Booking phone number: 020 7794 0500 ext 36169
    • If in labour call: 020 7794 0500 ext 33849 or ext 33850
    Book online
  • Outside space
    • There is no outside space available for women in labour
  • Visiting information
    • Your nominated partner can visit 24 hours but all other visitors between 2-8pm
  • Car parking for women in labour
    • There are reduced parking rates for women in labour
    • no special arrangements
  • Parking
    • £6 per day when in labour
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