STRUCTURE: A new 24-hour community midwives service dedicated to home births has been introduced by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust.

Previously, community midwives only covered homebirths until 5pm, with midwives from the maternity units at hospitals covering the evenings and nights.

The new service has already made a positive impact, with the number of home births doubling in the first month that it has been running, according to the trust.

Community midwifery manager Mo Cleland said: “We would always prioritise attending homebirths but it was sometimes difficult to organise and if the labour ward was busy overnight then it was not always ideal to send a midwife out from the unit to attend a homebirth.

“Our aim is to increase the number of homebirths in the BSUH area and this new service is key to being able to achieve this.”