Royal Stoke University Hospital
Our staffing establishments are compliant with national standards (Birthrate Plus (Ball & Washbrook), Guidance RCM Staffing Standard 2009, Safer Childbirth 2007).
Women who give birth at University Hospitals of North Midlands are given the safest care in the country, according to an accreditation scheme. Staff at UHNM maternity centre celebrated after being given the highest rating of any large Maternity service nationwide. The rating shows that the level of care provided at the Maternity Centre in Stoke-on-Trent is one of the best in the country.
UHNM has become one of the first maternity units in the country to successfully achieve UNICEF accreditation against new standards which came into force in January 2016. The department first achieved 'baby-friendly' accreditation in 2002 and has successfully maintained the standards and practices necessary to continue to receive the accreditation since then. The new standards focus on helping mothers to build a close and loving relationship with their baby.
The following information provides you with a brief overview of services provided at UHNM.
At your first appointment, the community midwife, who will likely be your named midwife, will explain to you your choice of birthplace. You will have the opportunity to consider four options which complies with Maternity Matters - Choice, access and continuity of care in a safe service (2007). This includes:
- Home Birth
- Freestanding Midwifery Birth Unit at County Hospital
- Midwife Birth Centre at Royal Stoke
- Obstetric Unit at Royal Stoke
The first appointment will normally take place at your GP surgery, children's centre, hospital and, on occasion, your home. Details of you and your family's health history will be discussed, a sample of your urine will be tested (please make sure you have a sample ready in a clean container), your blood pressure checked and your weight and height recorded. The midwife will explain to you all the routine tests offered during your pregnancy, including blood and ultra sound scans.
Your named midwife will be responsible for discussing and helping you to plan your ongoing care. They will endeavour to see you during your antenatal visits, however there may be times when they are unavailable. During these times we will make sure you are seen by an associate midwife. It is our aim to provide continuity of care to you through your named and associate midwife.
During your visits please do not hesitate to ask any questions. Should your circumstances require we can make arrangements for you to be referred to other specialists or agencies. At the end of each appointment please make sure you know how and when to book your next appointment.
Some women choose to have their baby at home. It is a natural and safe choice and can be ideal for women who are expecting to have a healthy pregnancy, straightforward childbirth and a healthy baby.
Your named midwife will be able to advise you if it is safe to have your baby at home and will arrange this for you. There are many advantages to having a home birth. You will not have to travel in labour and will not be separated from the rest of your family. You are likely to need less pain relief and infection after birth is less likely. Breastfeeding is often easier to establish.
However, some pain relief methods (epidural) are not available at home and transfer to hospital during labour might be necessary if problems arise.
Here you will find information about the different services and departments in the Maternity Centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
'Prenatal' or 'antenatal' development is the period during which an embryo or fetus gestates during pregnancy, from fertilization until birth.
Royal Stoke University Hospital
The Antenatal Clinic is an outpatient clinic, situated on the Ground Floor of the Maternity Centre. It is where we provide antenatal care for women who are under the care of one of our consultants rather than those who intend to give birth at home or in our Midwife Birth Centre.
The Antenatal Clinic is open Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm. Vending machines are available at the main entrance to the maternity centre selling drinks and snacks. There is a drinking water dispenser and also a public telephone and a free taxi phone within the unit.
If your midwife has recommended that you are referred to the hospital for an antenatal appointment it is generally due to something in either you or your family history that requires more monitoring than can be provided in the community. When attending the antenatal clinic at the hospital you will have a urine test, blood pressure check and an abdominal examination.
Further tests such as blood tests and ultrasound scans may be offered. The reason should be explained to you so you can understand your care. Unlike visits done in the community, during this appointment you will be seen and examined by a consultant obstetrician who will become responsible for planning further care.
Follow-up antenatal visits
Follow-up visits will be offered depending on your care pathway. These may be with the community midwife or at the hospital with an obstetrician or a combination of both. Usually follow-up visits do not take as long as the initial visit but the same routine examination will be conducted, whihc includes blood pressure and an abdominal examination. Your urine will also be tested and depending on the stage of your pregnancy, your baby's heart rate listened to.
These examinations give an indication of your baby's growth, development and wellbeing. After about 30 weeks of your pregnancy you will be able to detect a clear pattern of movements. If you feel this pattern has changed you should contact the hospital on the 24-hour help ine given to you by your community midwife.
You will usually have two scans; one between 11 – 13 weeks of pregnancy and a detailed scan at approximately 20 weeks. They will be carried out in the hospital's scan department at Royal Stoke and County Hospital, at Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre or Bradwell Hospital. Your community midwife will book the most appropriate venue for you. Other venues may be available in the near future. You will be able to purchase a photograph of the scan.
- Antenatal Clinic Reception: 01782 672111
- Antenatal Clinic Appointments: 01782 672113
- Antenatal Clinic Manager: 01782 672111
Our staff and clinics
We combine a number of specific medical disorders with obstetric clinics so women should always have the opportunity to be cared for by the specialist consultant. We have 11 consultant obstetricians who each run clinics and have specialist areas of expertise.
Many of our midwives also have individual areas of expertise. We have an antenatal screening specialist midwife, a perinatology midwife, a midwife with a special interest in Epilepsy, a midwife with a special interest in Diabetes and a midwife who coordinates care for vulnerable women.
On Wednesday mornings we hold a midwife-led PEACH (Parent Emotional Antenatal Clinic for Health) clinic which deals with mental health issues. We also have a specialist perineal clinic which is run by a midwife who is a professor in women's health. All of the midwives work alongside the specialist consultants within the antenatal clinic.
A pre-operative assessment clinic is held every morning Monday to Thursday for women who plan to have a caesarean section.
On Tuesday afternoons our midwives see pregnant women, particularly those who live outside the immediate area, for their first appointment and on Friday afternoons we have a midwife-led Anti-D clinic for mums who are Rhesus negative.In order to maintain continuity of care the Antenatal Clinic also has strong links with the community midwifery team.
The Perineal Care Clinic
The dedicated Perineal Care Clinic was set up at University Hospital in March 2003. It runs every Wednesday morning and afternoon. The main aim of the clinic is to provide care for women who suffer from perineal problems including bowel, bladder or sexual dysfunction following childbirth. We also see women during the early antenatal period who have experienced complex perineal trauma or anal sphincter injuries during previous births, in order to advise regarding the best mode of delivery.
Women can be referred directly to the clinic via their midwives, general practitioners, health visitors, physiotherapists, practice nurses, and consultants. The Perineal Care Team works closely with other disciplines, including obstetric physiotherapists, colorectal surgeons, urogynaecologists and continence advisors. The multi-disciplinary team meets monthly to discuss and plan appropriate care for women with complex problems.
Where needed, we refer women for further investigations, such as an endo-anal scan or anorectal physiology tests. The Perineal Care Clinic provides exceptional care in a friendly environment and the way it works is being copied by many other units. We are leading in research relating to perineal care and also run local, national and international courses relating to the management of perineal trauma.
The Parent Emotional Antenatal Clinic for Health (PEACH)
This is a weekly specialised multidisciplinary service working with the parent and baby day unit at Bucknall Hospital. PEACH is a midwife-led specialised perinatal mental health clinic that runs alongside a consultant led antenatal clinic. The main aim of this service to provide guidance, advice and support for women in relation to any current or past mental health issues throughout their pregnancy.
Fetal medicine offers patients detailed assessment and screening of their fetus with ultrasound when a problem is suspected. We also offer procedures including amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. The service is run by a multidisciplinary team including midwives, support workers, radiographers, secretaries, paediatric and neonatal specialists.
This is a monthly specialised multidisciplinary clinic that has strong links with the hospital's neurology department. Care pathways for this clinic are in line with the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) and the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) recommendations for the management of epilepsy in pregnancy. The role of the clinic has also been extended to care for women with other neurological problems.
Screening tests for you and your baby
Click here to find out more about what screening is offered for you and your baby during and after pregnancy.
Your scans may be booked at:
- Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre ST2 0HG
- Bradwell Hospital ST5 7NJ
- Royal Stoke Maternity Hospital ST4 6QG
- County Hospital ST16 3SA
Please drink at least one pint of water one hour before your scan and attend with a full bladder.
Please bring your pregnancy notes to every scan appointment.
One person (partner/relative) can come into the scan room with you. Please be aware that once the scan begins there is no swapping allowed: this is to allow the sonographer to give their full attention to your baby’s scan. The ultrasound scan is a medical examination and it is necessary for the sonographer to be able to concentrate on carrying out the necessary checks and measurements on your baby.
Ideally we ask that children do not accompany you to your scan. However, if you have no alternative then they will of course be allowed into the scan room with you. Please note however that if children become disruptive the scan may have to be stopped and rebooked.
Please note the reason for the scan is to check that everything is okay with your baby. If you wish to know your baby’s sex, the sonographer will look during your scan but if it isn’t possible to see your baby’s sex then we do not book a further scan for this reason.
A printed scan photograph can be provided at your request at a cost of £4 each. Payment is by cash or debit / credit card. Taking your own pictures of the ultrasound screen or recording your scan is not permitted at any time.
Please note UHNM do not include a printed scan photograph of your baby as part of the medical examination.
About the Delivery Suite
The Delivery Suite is situated on the second floor of the Maternity Centre at Royal Stoke. We have 16 delivery rooms, all with en-suite facilities. Women who are booked under the care of a Consultant will have their baby on this department, as will women who require their labour to be induced.
There are also four high-dependency rooms for patients who require specific support throughout their labour. Each of the four rooms has up-to-date technical equipment in order to monitor patients more intensively.
Staff on the Delivery Suite include midwives, doctors, nurses, clinical support workers, and hotel support service staff, all of whom work with women to provide a full range of care suited to their needs. There is a patient and partner sitting room available for refreshments.
On the Delivery Suite we promote normal birth. If there are no anticipated problems, women are cared for solely by the midwife. However we do recognise that some births need closer monitoring for a variety of reasons.
We actively encourage women to be mobile and have telemetry facilities for monitoring. We provide mats and birthing balls for you to use. We offer a wide range of pain relief including epidural anaesthesia to suit your needs.
We also have two operating theatres which are used for women who have a planned caesarean section. This is offered five days-a-week and also to conduct emergency cases 24 hours-a-day. There is a three-bedded post- analgesia care unit where patients are admitted for immediate post-operative assessment prior to their transfer to the postnatal ward.
There are two designated rooms set aside from both the Midwifery Assessment Unit and Delivery Suite in order to care for women who have experienced the loss of their baby. There is a counselling and sitting area with refreshments available for families to have private discussion. The bereavement suite staff are trained specifically to support families through this very sad time.
There is an 'early-births' room for parents whose babies are anticipated to require neonatal intensive care.
Admission during labour
During your pregnancy your midwife will discuss the signs of labour with you and give you instructions on when to contact the hospital. When you think you are in labour, you should contact the department you are booked to have your baby.
This could be Royal Stoke Delivery Suite on 01782 672333, Royal Stoke Midwife Birth Centre on 01782 672200, Royal Stoke Maternity Assessment Unit on 01782 672300 or the Freestanding Birthing Unit County Hospital on 01785 230059 for advice. When you are admitted to hospital it is important that you bring with you any tablets or medicines you have been taking.
Visiting is not allowed on the delivery suite, except for when a lady is staying in a high dependency room for a number of days. Family are allowed to visit if a lady has a stillbirth.
The early pregnancy unit is a nurse lead service which provides care for women who experience problems in early pregnancy, at less than 16 weeks gestation e.g. threatened miscarriage.
Patients who attend the early pregnancy unit will have experienced mild to moderate problems, such as bleeding or pain in early stages of pregnancy.
Patients are referred to the unit by the clinician whose care they are under, and may attend the department on a number of occasions over the period of a few days for repeat investigations/scans.
Please note that self-referrals are not accepted. The service is nurse led, with only very complex cases being referred for further medical assessment.
Contact Reception: 01782 672110
The Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) provides additional care and assessment for women from 16 weeks pregnant to 6 weeks after birth. You may call the unit’s emergency telephone number at any time during your pregnancy to discuss problems or receive advice.
24 Hour Helpline Number (01782 672300)
You will be asked various questions about your pregnancy and symptoms to enable us to establish the best place to assess and treat you. You may be advised to attend the unit if we think you have a problem which needs attention from a midwife or an obstetrician. You could also be referred to the unit by your midwife GP or Antenatal Clinic.
Please have your hospital number available so that the midwife can access your medical notes electronically.
Your community midwife will give you this at your first booking appointment.
The MAU operates a triage system. This enables midwives to assess your condition and ensure that care and treatment is given in a timely manner.
The triage system consists of a 3 tier system of:
- Midwifery Triage ( assess the condition that you have attended with)
- Midwifery Assessment ( perform the relevant investigations required)
- Medical Assessment (review by a doctor if this is required).
In Triage the midwife will discuss the concerns that you have attended with.
She will also perform an antenatal examination, including listening to your baby’s heart rate (If required) and discuss your baby’s movement pattern.
Once your symptoms have been assessed you will be allocated a waiting time.
Priority 1 (Red) Seen immediately
Priority 2 (Orange) Seen within 15 minutes
Priority 3 (Yellow) Seen within 1 hour
Priority 4 (Green) Seen within 4 hours
Once triaged you may be asked to sit in the waiting area until further assessments can be completed.
We aim to keep to the above waiting times, however MAU is a busy area and these times may differ. Some delays unfortunately are inevitable.
We understand that visiting Triage may be stressful time and we are continuously trying to keep waiting times to a minimum.
There are various places within the hospital site that refreshments can be brought, and there are also vending machines. Please ask staff for the location of these places and they will happily direct you.
There is a water cooler situated within the department.
If you prefer you could bring your own light refreshments.
We aim to ensure that any visits to MAU are timely and as stress free as possible. Please speak to a member of staff if you have any concerns
Useful Contact Numbers
Antenatal Clinic 672112
Delivery Suite 672333
Ward 205 672205
Ward 206 672206
Ultrasound Scan Department 672158
If for any reason you need to visit MAU, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitiser situated in main reception and again when entering the department.
To try and reduce the spread of Covid 19 you will be asked to attend alone. Please tell staff if you or any of your household have any symptoms of Covid 19. Please inform staff if you have been self-isolating so that you can receive care in the most appropriate area.
Wards 205 and 206 are inside the Maternity Centre. There are 28 beds on each ward. On each ward there are 12 ensuite side rooms and 4 en-suite bays (4 beds per bay).
A number of consultant obstetricians work on these wards, providing specialist care for women admitted both before and after birth. The wards have disabled access in all areas including bathrooms. An assisted bathroom is also available.
During your stay in hospital we encourage you to keep your baby in a cot by your bed at all times, unless any special treatment is required. This helps you to get to know your baby and promote bonding. On the ward the midwives will continue to help to plan your care and that of your baby. Your stay in hospital after having your baby will depend on your delivery. During this time the midwife will make sure that you and your baby are well. Help and support will be available to give you confidence in caring for your baby. Please discuss your plan for going home with the midwife on the ward. You will be visited at home the day after you return.
Our maternity centre has been accredited as 'UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) Baby Friendly' because of our best practice standards in breastfeeding. There are also breastfeeding co-ordinators available to offer support to women on the wards.
Mobile telephones are permitted on the wards and there is a payphone available in the day room.
This is a ten-bedded area located on ward 205 that cares for babies who require additional monitoring but do not need the level of care required from a neonatal unit. The mothers and babies are roomed together and parents are encouraged to have direct input into the care of their baby.
The baby's care will be provided by a highly competent and skilled workforce trained specifically in the care of the neonate. The midwives on ward 205 will provide any care required for the mother.
Ward 206 (Postnatal and Antenatal) 01782 672206
Ward 205 (Postnatal and Antenatal) 01782 672205
Royal Stoke University Hospital
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is based on the second floor of the Maternity Centre. It is located close to the A34, Newcastle Road entrance to the hospital site. Use the north entrance of the A34 closest to Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre to access the site. The Trust recommends you use either Car Park B next to the West Building or Car Park C next to the A34 itself to access this car park you must loop around the West Building) Please click here for details of where to find us.
Contact: NICU Reception - 01782 672400
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is based within the Maternity Centre and offers care for up to 26 babies and their families. The unit has 6 intensive care cots, 6 high dependency cots and 14 special care cots. There is also a special isolation room.
Babies are admitted for a variety of reasons. Some are born early in pregnancy from 24 weeks gestation, weighing in at just 500 grams. Others may be born at term but are unwell and need our specialised medical or nursing care. Babies are generally admitted from the labour ward or from the midwifery wards and occasionally from other neonatal units.
The unit is a level 3 intensive care unit, which provides the highest level of intensive care for vulnerable babies from the local area and across the West Midlands network. The unit has the facilities to provide cooling to poorly babies and is a nationally recognised as a centre of excellence.
Having a baby on the Neonatal Unit can be a very difficult time for parents and families. So that parents can spend as much time as possible with their baby, we have 6 ensuite parent over-night stay bedrooms with kitchen and lounge facilities.
Our nursing team comprises childrens's nurses, nurses, midwives, advanced neonatal nurse practitioners, a breastfeeding and research midwife and health care support workers. We have four consultants and work closely with other health professionals such as dieticians, physiotherapists and pharmacists. We also support many pre and post registration nursing and midwifery students and medical students.
The breastfeeding co-ordinators are available to offer support to women on wards.
Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country Newborn and Maternity Network
Our visiting policy is designed to minimise the risks of infection and preserve privacy for babies and families.
Parents and siblings may visit or make enquiries by telephone at any time.
Grandparents can visit the unit daily between 13:00-15:00, as long as they are accompanied by the parents.
Staff encourage parents to help care for their babies while they are on the unit and spend time with parents helping them to feel comfortable and confident.
Useful information for new parents
When babies are discharged, there are a number of support agencies available, which include:
- Hospital at Home
- Health Visitors
- Community Midwives
- Paediatric Community Team Nurses
Useful links for new parents
In conjunction with the maternity unit, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has been awarded the UNICEF Baby Friendly status. The unit is part of the Staffordshire Shropshire and Black Country Newborn Network, which has 6 units within the West Midlands.
About the centre
The Midwife Birth Centre (MBC) is a dedicated unit located on the first floor of the Maternity Centre at Royal Stoke. Approximately 1,500 babies are born here each year.
The centre is run by midwives who care for women in labour, deliver their babies, provide immediate postnatal care and transfer women back to the care of the community midwife on discharge from hospital. (Mum stays in her own room from when she is admitted in labour, through delivery until she goes home).
The centre is open to pregnant women with minimal or no complications.
The MBC offers antenatal relaxation classes, which help to educate women and their birth partner about strategies for coping with early labour. The breastfeeding coordinators also offer monthly antenatal breastfeeding classes in the department.
There are eleven rooms, each of which has an en-suite bathroom with a large bath that can be used for hydrotherapy in labour. Every room has a flat screen TV and dimmer switch lighting for an ambience of calm.
The birthing pool room has special colour change lights which can be set to the patient's preference and create a comforting and relaxed atmosphere. There is also a music sound system for use if desired.
The centre has a dining room where mums and their partners can relax and make drinks and snacks.
During the birth
Normal birth is promoted. Women's expression of choice is actively encouraged, as is delivery off the bed. A clam, quiet environment is provided to help with the birth experience. If all goes well you will be transferred home to the care of your community midwife within a few hours of the birth.
Choices of pain relief include massage, mobility, hydrotherapy, Entonox (gas and air) and pethidine. If during your labour you decide you want to have an epidural, or should any complications arise, you may be transferred to the Delivery Suite.
Mum can have two people with her during labour and birth.