Barkantine Health Centre

Barts Health NHS Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

Barkantine Birth Centre

Contact & visitor information

Freestanding birth centres are not on the same site as a hospital, so your care is led by midwives. If you need the assistance of a doctor you’ll be transferred to a labour ward at a hospital.

a medium unit


births from Apr 2017 to Apr 2018



Birthing rooms available

  • Epidural
  • Birth pools available
  • Neonatal care unit

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
    • You can have a bath or use a birth pool if available
    • You can be admitted to the delivery suite/birthing room
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 5 Birthing room(s)
    • 5 Birth pool(s)
      • 0 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 5 Plumbed-in birth pool(s)
  • Birth partners
    • There are no restrictions on how many birth partners you can have.

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 in a room with you in a double bed
  • 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 6-24 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 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 allocated a named midwife after your booking-in appointment. You will see this midwife at the GP surgery and ideally throughout the pregnancy. There are 3 midwives allocated to each surgery, therefore you could see any of these at your antenatal check if your link midwife was on leave. Postnatally women will ideally see no more than 3 midwives in the community setting.

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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    Who can give birth here?

    • 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)
      • Aged between 16 and 39 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 4 previous babies
      • Women who fall outside of the eligibility criteria will be assessed on an individual basis
    • Catchment area
      • Women who live within the catchment area: Tower Hamlets
      • 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: there is a lift service available, wide doors leading into all rooms, and disabled toilet facility.
      • Hearing problems: individual assessment and plan to provide services to meet your needs.
      • Sight problems: individual assessment and plan to provide services to meet their needs.
      • Learning disabilities: support from vulnerable women's midwifery team (Gateway Team).
      • Autism spectrum: support from vulnerable women's midwifery team (Gateway Team).
    • Interpreting service
      • There is an interpreting service which can be arranged for antenatal appointments. It is currently not available during labour.
      • This unit works with local charities such as Parent First and Maternity Mates to provide support. They also use TheLanguageLine.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Substance misuse
      • Teenage pregnancy
      • Vulnerable women
      • The Maternity Mates project provides voluntary non-clinical support to women who do not have a suitable support network or have specific needs or health issues. This is in addition to the services offered by the unit.

    Women's experiences

    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


      Worse compared with other trusts

    • Care in hospital after birth


      Worse compared with other trusts

    General information

    • Tours
      • Tours of the birth centre are every Thursday evening and Saturday morning. To book for a tour please contact 0207 791 8300.
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • Kitchen; frozen meals available; local shops and restaurants.
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    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Following your second (anomaly) scan, if there are no pregnancy complications then you can self-refer by calling the Birth Centre or by speaking to your midwife to complete a referral form.
      Via your GP
      Book directly from 20 weeks of pregnancy
      • Booking phone number: 0207 791 8000
      • If in labour call: 0207 791 8000
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • Rooms have a balcony
    • Visiting information
      • No set visiting hours during the day. The Birth Centre closes for visitors at 10pm.
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • No special arrangements
    • Parking
      • No car park on site. There is metered parking on the streets and a car park a couple of minutes' walk away which is £5 for the day.
    • Temporary closures
      • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2017 - Apr 2018: 1
      • Reason for closure: for 24 hours due to the London Marathon.
      • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: Lotus Birth Centre
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