Homerton hospital rethinks homebirth team reductions

Homerton hospital has decided to partially reverse the decision to scale down its home birth team after strong pressure from local activists.

The hospital agreed to reduce the number of midwives to five instead of four as previously planned, and allow women in the last trimester of pregnancy to retain the on-call services of the same midwife who saw them throughout their term.

The home birth team reduction outlined last week would have resulted in expectant mothers having to go into labour with a different midwife to the one who saw them regularly during their pregnancy.

The change of plans came after Hackney doula and home birth activist Rebecca Schiller collected over 1,000 signatures opposing the team reduction, and garnered support from prominent local figures such as Hackney barrister and founder of Birthrights charity Elizabeth Prochaska.

Rebecca Schiller said: “The hospital listened to our concerns and our wish to review the decision making process. It has been such a big team effort and I have been overwhelmed by how many people supported the campaign.”

Ms Schiller added that the hospital assured her that it would take on board lessons learned through this process when considering future proposals, and will include service users in any decision making which might affect them.