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Innovative Birth Units scoop awards


Our Birth Units at Cheltenham and Gloucester are celebrating after having won the ‘Outstanding Practice Learning Environment: Innovative Placement’ award at the University of Worcester’s annual Mentor Awards.

The Awards celebrate health professionals from partner organisations from across the region and honour the outstanding work and commitment of nurses, midwives, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and paramedics who mentor students throughout their time within a practice learning environment.


Head of Midwifery Vivien Mortimore: “This award is extra special because it represents the hard work of all the team members at every level. The staff on the units are delighted to have been recognised in this way. Many partner Trusts and professional groups are represented in these awards, so to be the most innovative placement really means something.


“Our Birth Units in Gloucestershire have been a tremendous success and provide a supportive nurturing environment for both student midwives and the women choosing these midwifery-led centres for the birth of their baby. Around 50% of all women booked for maternity care in Gloucestershire were booked for midwifery led care in 2015 and around 30% went on to give birth at home or in a Midwifery Led facility in the county compared to just 13% nationally. Women choosing the birth units are cared for by experienced, highly skilled midwives who support them through birth using  essential oils , massage  and with access to water  and  birth pools. 80% of women commencing labour in the Birth Units will remain there for the birth without the need for transfer.


“While not all mums can give birth in birth units, innovative practices are also in place throughout our maternity services, such as the mums up and mobile project which has allowed more women in our main delivery suite to experience an active birth. We are committed to continuing to providing excellent care and the full range of choice for women and their families in the county.”



Further info/ stats:

  • Around 6500 women gave birth in Gloucestershire 2015 and approximately 30% gave birth with midwives as the lead professional, in a midwifery led unit or at home in 2015.
  • Of the 1961(31%) women admitted in labour, 60% were admitted to Gloucester Along-side Midwifery Unit (ALU), 24% to the Cheltenham Aveta Birth Centre and 16% to Stroud Maternity Unit. Around 25% of women in Gloucestershire gave birth in a midwifery-led unit in 2015.