A key recommendation of Better Births was that personalised care should be central to maternity services; centred on the woman, her baby and her family, based around their needs and their decisions, where they have genuine choice, informed by unbiased information and central to ensuring that women receive the best care possible.


An Alongside Midwifery Unit (AMU)  means it will be located on the same site, next to a maternity hospital. A Free Standing Midwifery Unit (FMU) means it will be located a short distance from the nearest maternity hospital.

Midwifery units or birth centres

Midwifery units or birth centres can be more comfortable and homely than a maternity unit in a hospital. They can be:

  • part of a hospital maternity unit where pregnancy (obstetric), newborn (neonatal) and anaesthetic care is available
  • separate from a hospital, and without immediate obstetric, neonatal or anaesthetic care

Advantages of a midwifery unit or birth centre include:

  • bring in surroundings where you may feel more relaxed and better able to cope with labour
  • being more likely to be looked after by a midwife you have got to know during your pregnancy
  • lower likelihood of having an intervention such as forceps or ventouse than women giving birth in a consultant-led unit

There are also disadvantages to giving birth in a birth centre, for some people. Your choice  over where you give birth can have a significant impact on birth outcomes.

 Please give your feedback regarding your experiences and care surrounding your care at a Birth Centre to:

Bath & North East Somerset

BaNES (Birth Centres managed by the Royal United Hospital in Bath)

Paulton – Kirsty Orlando

Trowbridge – Currently vacant, if interested please contact

Frome & Shepton Mallet – Katie Pande

Chippenham – Currently vacant, if interested please contact

New Alongside Birth Centre in Bath – Currently vacant, if interested please contact


White Horse Birth Centre – Julie Card


A new AMU Birth Centre is going to be built at Salisbury District Hospital following the decision at the Maternity Transformation meeting on 16.1.20  The MVP will be part of this exciting new development.

Sarah Cowperthwaite

Bath & North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire MVP and LMNS logo