Halstead Hospital

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Freestanding Birth Centre

Halstead 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 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
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
  • Transfer details
  • Birthing rooms
    • 1 Birthing room(s)
    • 0 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
      • Women do not stay overnight
    • 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 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 see a named midwife to receive good continuity of care. Midwives have a 'buddy' who you will see if your own midwife is not available.

    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)
      • BMI between 18 and 35.0
      • Aged between 16 and 45 years old
      • Between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant
      • Maximum of 5 previous babies
    • 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
      • No 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. RADA interpreters.
      • 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 requirements. There is a system in place to make sure that staff are informed.
      • Autism spectrum: staff will be made aware of your individual requirements. There is a system in place to make sure that staff are informed.
    • Interpreting service
      • Big Hand, 'TheLanguageLine' via mobile phone, picture cue cards.
      • staff will be made aware of your individual requirements. There are pictorial cue cards available, and there is a system on Delivery Suite to make sure that staff are informed about your special requirements.
    • Specialist midwifery teams
      • Antenatal Screening
      • Bereavement
      • Diabetes
      • Infant feeding
      • Perinatal mental health
      • Vulnerable women
      • Parent education, neonatal liaison and smoking in pregnancy (based in Colchester).

    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
      • Arrange directly with your named midwife or via the community midwives office.
    • Non-NHS Care
      • Private maternity care isn't available here.
    • Breastfeeding accreditation
    • Food for partners out-of-hours
      • There are no facilities nearby so make sure to bring your own refreshments.
    • Contact information
    • How to book once you're pregnant
      Or call the Community Midwives office 0120 674 2369
      Via your GP
      Book directly from 6 weeks of pregnancy
      • Booking phone number: 0178 727 3137
      • If in labour call: 0120 684 5240
    • Outside space
      • Outside space is available for women in labour
      • Hospital grounds
    • Visiting information
      • None
    • Car parking for women in labour
      • Limited free parking.
      • Parking spaces at the maternity unit
    • Parking
      • Free parking
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