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Temporary suspension of births at Rossendale Birth Centre

Births at Rossendale Birth Centre are being temporarily suspended until the end of March 2021. This is to allow for the additional space required to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination programme which has commenced in Rossendale.

Following the introduction of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, this extra space will ensure more residents in Rossendale who are prioritised as part of the national programme can be vaccinated quicker.

This situation will be reviewed every two weeks to address any concerns and make any necessary changes to support both the vaccination programme and maternity services.

There will remain a number of choices for place of birth which are a birth at home (homebirth), Blackburn Birth Centre, Burnley Birth Centre (located next to Central Birth Suite at Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre, Burnley General Hospital), and Central Birth Suite which is located at Lancashire Women’s and Newborn Centre and is an obstetric led unit mainly providing care for high risk pregnancies.

Antenatal clinics in Rossendale will continue to run as normal from Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, and patients will be directed on site.

Dr Abdul Mannan, Clinical Director of Rossendale Primary Care Network, said: “In the same way that colleagues in other areas across the country have been instructed to do, we were required to identify a hub to vaccinate the residents of Rossendale in line with national guidance for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination. We explored a number of venues across the Rossendale area but unfortunately there wasn’t the ready-made perfect venue where both the number of rooms and suitability to provide a one-way system and safe distancing measures could be in place. The most practical solution we found was to base this from Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre in Rawtenstall but even then due to the complexities of delivering the vaccination, it has been necessary to have a number of rooms adapted.

"With the pace of vaccinations increasing and the added urgent need to provide additional support for recovery space and any emergency arising as a result of the vaccination such as anaphylaxis, it is felt the only, and safest, option at this point is to provisionally use the suite of rooms in Rossendale Birth Centre and temporarily suspend births until the end of March 2021.”

Neil Berry, Divisional General Manager Family Care from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Unfortunately these are challenging and unprecedented times we are in but we remain fully committed to choice and personalisation of care. We have, as usual before making any decisions which may impact on our users of our services, fully considered the effect this may have on the pregnant women, families and people in Rossendale and this has been a priority in the decision making.”

You can find more information about maternity and newborn services on East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust website at: www.elht.nhs.uk/services/maternity-and-newborn-services