Maternity services

We deliver around 4,000 babies every year in our modern, well-equipped maternity unit, part of the women's and children's directorate.

Maternity Services Update - Visiting Information - December 2020

As you may be aware, within our Maternity Services at Mid and South Essex Hospitals, we have had to make some changes to keep people safe and protected from coronavirus. These changes have included restricting the number of people who can come to our hospitals and clinics. We know how hard this has been for you and your families and thank you all for supporting us to keep  everyone as safe as we can.

We have recently reviewed some of our restrictions in line with the increased knowledge available and would like to update you with the current situation at Basildon, Southend and Mid Essex as follows:

One partner/support person can accompany you to all of your Maternity scans. You will both be expected to wear a surgical mask throughout the whole scan appointment. A visor is available if you are mask exempt.

Unfortunately at this time, you will have to attend your antenatal appointments without your partner/support person. You can use your phone to face time or video call your partner/support person so they can still be included in the appointment if this is your choice.

One partner/support person can come in with you when you come in for your elective caesarean section if that is your care pathway. Your partner may be asked to return home once you have been admitted and can then return before you go to theatre.

One partner/support person can come in with you when you come in for your induction of labour if that is your care pathway. Your partner may be asked to return home once you have been admitted and can then return when you are in established labour.

One partner/supporter can come with when you come in to be assessed to see if you are in labour and can remain with you if you are, until after your baby is born.

All women are tested on admission for Covid-19. If your test results come back as positive, or you are known to already be Covid positive, your partner will be asked to remain at home to isolate and return when you are in established labour.

When your baby is born, you will be able to spend some time together in the birthing room. If you are being transferred to the post-natal ward, your partner/support person will be asked to go home to rest and will be given a time to return to see you on the post-natal ward.

When you go home the midwife will visit you. Please prepare for the visit by airing your home and opening all doors so the midwife does not need to touch the handles. Please can we ask that there are no other visitors in the house at this time.

Mid Essex Hospital has now commenced partner testing which will take place prior to admission to the wards for Induction of labour, elective caesarean sections or if you are in labour. If your partner/support person's test result is positive, they will be asked to follow the Government guidance and return home to self-isolate. It is advisable to think about having another birth partner/support person on standby just in case this happens.

We will keep you updated with regard to the progress for Southend and Basildon with regard to partner testing.

Please note that children are not currently able to come to the department.

We thank you for being patient, and do understand how difficult this situation is for everyone.


Changes to Maternity Visiting policy

Labour Ward/Birthing Unit

Women admitted to labour ward/Midwifery Led Birthing Unit to have one birth partner accompanying for assessment. To remain with woman  during birth.

Women admitted to Labour Ward for reasons outside of Labour can have one person with them during admission.


Women coming in for Induction of Labour (IOL) to have a birth partner attend for start of IOL procedure and then return home

To be called back if women is transferred to Labour Ward or if contracting and needs support during this time.

Visiting on Anti Natal ward for all inpatients to be commenced 2hrs in the afternoon/evening. Staggered times arranged per bed number.

Only one visitor each session and this need to be a consistent visitor. Same visiting applied to antenatal patients who remain on Labour ward.

Partners accompanying for scans to continue as currently in place.

Due to the current pandemic we have been unable to offer pregnant women any antenatal education classes.

We have been asked by many expectant mums if we had a list of essential items they should bring with them when they go into labour and come to the hospital. We have put together this sheet of information for women that you might find useful.


Visiting to be increased from 1hr in the afternoon/evening to 2hrs. Staggered times depending on bed numbers.

Same visiting applied to Post Natal patients who remain on Labour ward.

All visitors to have details taken and temp checks on arrival and to wear face masks unless in a delivery room.

Staff at Southend University Hospital maternity service are committed to providing high quality maternity care for women and their families during pregnancy, labour and after the birth of their baby.

We support women to have a choice of birthplace, as this has been shown to have a positive effect on the birth experience.  The choice of a home birth or birth in our midwife led birth unit will routinely be offered to women with a straight forward pregnancy ( no known complications that may affect pregnancy and the birth).

If your pregnancy is not straightforward, it is recommended that, to meet your individual needs you have your baby in our delivery suite. 

Our maternity services support care both in the community and the hospital. Generally this is for women who live in the Southend and Castle Point areas, however, we do also welcome women from outside these boroughs.

If you wish to book for maternity care with us, please refer yourself today by using the link below.

Please note that the Maternity Voices Partnership will be relaunched shortly, and we will provide details when they have been confirmed.