Clacton and District Hospital

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

Clacton Maternity Unit

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 very small 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
  • Other: Hypnobirthing techniques supported
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 be admitted to the delivery suite/birthing room
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 2 Birthing room(s)
    • 2 Birth pool(s)
      • 1 Inflatable birth pool(s)
      • 1 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
  • Other: Hypnobirthing

After you've given birth

  • Private postnatal rooms
    • Amenity rooms are not available.
  • Provision for partners staying overnight
    • Your partners can stay with you until you are discharged home
  • 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 0-4 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.

The same group of midwives provide antenatal care and labour care so you may receive full continuity of care. Antenatal care is provided by a caseholding midwife and generally you will be seen by the same midwife for all your antenatal appointments.

Find out about the benefits of knowing your midwife

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.
    • Straightforward pregnancy
    • Straightforward previous pregnancies
    • Only having one baby in this pregnancy (eg no twins)
    • Age of 16 and above
    • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
    • Maximum of 5 previous babies
    • Individual birth plans are discussed with the Consultant for any concerns raised
  • Catchment area
    • Women who live within the catchment area: North Essex
    • 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: You will be encouraged to deliver in the delivery suite at Colchester where there are more facilities
    • Hearing problems: Staff will be made aware of your individual requirements. There are pictorial cue cards available. Sign language interpreters can be booked if needed.
    • Sight problems: Staff will be made aware of your individual requirements. There is a system in place to make sure that staff are informed.
    • Learning disabilities: Staff will be made aware of your individual needs and a birth plan will be made.
    • Autism spectrum: Staff will be made aware of your individual needs and a birth plan will be made.
  • Interpreting service
    • TheBigWord interpreting service via mobile phone and picture cue cards.
    • Staff will be made aware of your individual requirements. There are pictorial cue cards available, and TheBigWord interpreting system can be used to help you understand what is being said at your appointments.
  • Specialist midwifery teams
    • Antenatal Screening
    • Bereavement
    • Diabetes
    • Infant feeding
    • Perinatal mental health
    • Substance misuse
    • Teenage pregnancy
    • Vulnerable women
    • Parent education, Neonatal liaison, Smoking in pregnancy

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


    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
    • During an antenatal appointment you can request a tour of the unit or phone 01255 201600 to book one
    • Take a virtual tour
  • Non-NHS Care
    • Private maternity care isn't available here.
  • Breastfeeding accreditation
  • Food for partners out-of-hours
    • Vending Machines
    • Vending machine
  • Contact information
  • How to book once you're pregnant
    Via your GP
    Book directly from 6 weeks of pregnancy
    • Booking phone number: 01255 201600
    • If in labour call: 01255 429690
  • Outside space
    • Outside space is available for women in labour
    • Hospital grounds
  • Visiting information
    • Not applicable - No private rooms
    • You cannot currently stay at this unit for more than a few hours once you have had your baby
  • Car parking for women in labour
    • No special arrangements
  • Parking
    • Ranges from £1.30 to £10 dependent on length of stay. There is free parking on the roads outside the hospital for 3 hours during the day.
  • Temporary closures
    • Number of times this unit was closed between Apr 2015 - Apr 2016: 2
    • Reason for closure: overnight due to problems with staffing levels. The unit was also closed for deliveries from March to July 2014, due to staffing problems in the main obstetric unit. The unit is now open on demand for deliveries by an on call system
    • If this unit is closed when you go into labour you'll be asked to go to an alternative unit: The Juno Suite
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