Maternity services - visiting update

The newly released Government initiative offers all members of the public, 2 lateral flow tests per week as part of the effort to control the spread of COVID. The lateral flow tests can be accessed from pharmacies, community hubs and online.

Please follow the below link for more information:  

To report your result to the NHS use the link below:

The progress with this regular testing enables us as a service to move safely and positively towards women attending ALL appointments with their partner/supporter. This will include antenatal and postnatal appointments in the community setting. 

If you are seeing your Midwife within a GP surgery or Children’s Centre it is their decision if your partner/support person can come in to the appointment. 

We would recommend that all women and their partner/support person begin this regular testing straight away.

We are also doing our best to accommodate two birthing partners being present during your labour and the birth or your baby. Currently at Basildon maternity unit we are undertaking a refresh of the facilities within delivery suite and the postnatal ward, therefore at present we are not in a position to safely facilitate a second birth partner/support person until such works are completed.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause. We will keep you updated as soon as we are in a position to change this.

Two birth partners are allowed at both Southend and Broomfield hospital sites now. 

Please remember:

  • If your partner/support person’s test result is positive, or if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID, then they will be asked to follow the Government guidance and self-isolate. It is advisable to think about having another birth partner/support person on standby just in case this happens.
  • All women are tested on admission for Covid-19. If your test results come back as positive your partner will be asked to go home to isolate and return when you are in established labour.
  • You will both be expected to wear a surgical mask throughout all appointments. A visor is available if you are mask exempt.  Hand sanitizer is available throughout the hospital.
  • Please note that children are NOT currently able to come to the department for appointments or to visit.

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

Basildon Hospital Labour Ward - Temporary relocation


LABOUR WARD has been temporarily relocated to B Level.

Please follow signs to Cedar ward.

The Antenatal and Postnatal ward has ALSO been moved and is temporarily located on SRU on B level.

If you are unsure please do not hesitate to call 01268 524900 extn 3551.

A staff member will be able to help you find the right ward.

We are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, we thank you for your patience during the refurbishment of the maternity ward areas.

Maternity services at our MSE hospitals

Our hospitals deliver thousands of babies every year modern, well-equipped maternity units.

Our maternity staff across our mid and south Essex hospitals 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. This is for women across mid and south Essex, where we provide maternity services in Basildon, Braintree, Chelmsford, Maldon and Southend.

A guide to COVID-19 vaccination

PHE COVID-19 vaccination guide on pregnancy English v2[pdf] 264KB

COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding - GOV.UK (

Our services

Maternity Services - Online self-referral

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

If you have a positive pregnancy test and wish to have your baby under the care of Mid and South Essex Matenrity Services, you can contact us directly by completing the antenatal self-referral form without the need to see your GP first.

You can access our antenatal self-referral form here:

Antenatal self-referral form

Once you submit your referral form you will be able to access evidence-based health information and chat to a member of our midwifery team about non-urgent concerns and questions via the Maternity Direct App.

Maternity Direct App

We encourage every woman to develop a personalised care plan, with your midwife and other health professionals, which sets out your decisions about your care, reflects your wider health needs and is kept up to date as your pregnancy progresses.

Your Midwife will discuss this further with you once you have referred your pregnancy.

Maternity services in Chelmsford

Where is the service located: Broomfield Hospital, Fourth Floor of A Block.

The maternity service at Broomfield Hospital provides the following:

Antenatal, Intrapartum and Postnatal care on site.

There are also designated hubs within the community setting where we can provide antenatal and postnatal care in the home setting as well

Contact telephone number for the service: 01245 362305 

Clinic times (start and finish times of clinics, days the service is running):

Antenatal clinics run between 08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Friday
Antenatal/Postnatal Clinic runs 09.00 - 16.00 Saturday and Sunday


The early pregnancy unit is temporarily located at A108 D4,D5 and D6 Telephone number ext 3037.

GACU Gynaecology ambulatory care unit is on Mayflower E322 ext 4924.

Maternity services in Braintree

Where is the service located: Braintree Community Hospital, WJC Birthing Centre

The maternity service at Braintree Communtiy Hospital is located at the WJC Birthing Unit, where they provide the following:

 Antenatal clinics, Low risk Intrapartum care and Postnatal care on site as well as in the home setting

The contact telephone number for the service is: 01376 560010.

Clinic times (start and finish times of clinics, days the service is running):

Antenatal clinics run between 08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Friday
Antenatal/Postnatal Clinic runs 09.00 - 16.00 Saturday and Sunday Day
Assessment Appointments 12.30 - 16.00 Every day

Maternity services in Maldon

Where is the service located: St Peter's Hospital.

The maternity service at St Peter's Hospital, Maldon provides the following:

Antenatal clinics, Low risk Intrapartum care and Postnatal care on site as well as in the home setting

Contact telephone number for the service: 01621 725305.

Clinic times (start and finish times of clinics, days the service is running):

Antenatal clinics run between 08.00 - 18.00 Monday to Friday
Antenatal/Postnatal Clinic runs 09.00 - 16.00 Saturday and Sunday Day
Assessment Appointments 12.30 - 16.00 Every day

Neonatal Patient information leaflets

Bliss patient information leaflets:

Bliss is the UK charity working to provide the best possible care and support for all premature and sick babies and their families.  They support parents, work directly with doctors and nurses and campaign to ensure the needs of babies and their families are always heard.

HIE (Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy) Information for Parents
About Neonatal Care
Skin-to-skin with your premature baby
Look at me - I'm talking to you
Little Bliss Magazine
Resuscitation Training

Tamba (Twins & Multiple Births Association) patient information leaflets:

Multiple Births - A Parents' Guide to Neonatal Care

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health patient information leaflets:

Your baby's care - Measuring standards and improving neonatal care

Public Health England patient information leaflets:

Screening tests for you and your baby

UNICEF patient information leaflets:

You and your baby
Caring for your baby at night - A Guide for Parents

SMA nutrition patient information leaflet:

Supporting your preterm and low birthweight baby's nutritional needs

Neonatal Data Analysis Unit:

Why your baby's data are important

Department of Health & Social Care:

Immunisations up to one year of age. For babies born on or after 1 January 2020

A quick guide to childhood immunisations for the parents of premature babies born on or after 1 January 2020

British Association of Perinatal Medicine:

COVID - 19 Resources
Leaflet for mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
Leaflet for parents / carers of newborns


The leaflets on this page are designed to provide information regarding your care. They can be downloaded, printed or read online.

Caring for your baby on the neonatal unit [pdf] 406KB

Eye care – parents guide [pdf] 99KB

Gentamicin therapy for babies [pdf] 93KB

Lumbar puncture [pdf] 125KB

Pain relief for babies [pdf] 120KB

Parents leaflet Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) [pdf] 153KB

PICC and central lines [pdf] 129KB

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) [pdf] 97KB

Tests and treatment for your baby’s jaundice [pdf] 137KB

Total parental nutrition (TPN) [pdf] 104KB

Welcome to the neonatal unit - Family Guide [pdf] 3MB

Personal Care Plans

Personalised care is care centred on the woman, her baby and her family. It is based around her needs, values and decisions and facilitates genuine choice, informed by unbiased information.

Every woman should develop a personalised care plan, with her midwife and other health professionals, which sets out her decisions about her care, reflects her wider health needs and is kept up to date as her pregnancy progresses.

We aim to make unbiased information available to help you make decisions and develop your care plan. This should include information that is appropriate to you, including the latest evidence and what services are available locally.

You can choose the provider of your antenatal, intrapartum (labour and birth) and postnatal care.  You can make decisions about the support you need during birth and where you would prefer to give birth, whether this is at home, in a midwifery unit or in an obstetric unit, after full discussion of the benefits and risks associated with each option.

Please follow the link below to access your personal care plan, which you may want to print, ready for your first (and subsequent) midwife appointment.

Mid and South Essex Maternity Services - Personal care plan [pdf] 394KB

A Better Start 1-2-1 breastfeeding support service

Better Start 1-2-1 Breastfeeding Support Service

We have teamed up with Southend University Hospital to provide our 1-2-1 Breastfeeding Support Service. The service provides personal, one-on-one breastfeeding support by fully trained Infant Feeding Support Workers in your home, and can be accessed both antenatally and postnatally within the first six weeks of your baby's life.

During these appointments, Infant Feeding Support workers will discuss:

  • The benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding
  • How to get breastfeeding off to a good start
  • The importance of developing a relationship with your baby both during and after pregnancy
  • Positioning and attachment
  • Hand expressing of breast milk
  • How families and partners can support

The service is currently available within Kursaal, Shoebury and West Shoebury wards.

Please visit the A Better Start Southend website and check your postcode:

For more information and to book, please get in touch with the Infant Feeding Support team on 0788 071 4472 or email

Come and join us for a free two hour antenatal breastfeeding information workshop with your local breastfeeding group coordinators and infant feeding support workers from Southend Hospital. Gain further knowledge on breastfeeding, ask questions and understand the support available to you throughout your breastfeeding journey.

The evening will cover topics such as:

  • What to expect in the early days                                 
  • Your baby’s first breastfeed
  • Antenatal colostrum collection
  • The benefits of skin to skin contact
  • The value of breastfeeding and breastmilk
  • Information on breastfeeding support available in your area
  • Useful tips and much more

Join us from the comfort of your own home on Monday 12 April at 7 – 9pm on Facebook.

Maternity services - latest updates

Maternity network group for families & staff in ethnic minority communities

.Join our maternity network group to improve outcomes for families and our staff within ethnic minority communities.

Join our network and help us to improve outcomes and experience for families and our staff throughout the Maternity journey, who are from an ethnic minority background.

At Mid and South Essex Foundation Trust  we want to strengthen the support we provide to staff working in our women and children’s department from ethnic minority backgrounds and the care we give to families from ethnic minority communities using our maternity services.

To help us with this we are forming a team / network of people who can join forces with us to improve outcomes for families, and our staff within these communities.

To be eligible to participate you either need to be a member of staff or a member of the local community who is passionate about this area of work.

The MBRRACE-UK (2019) findings demonstrate that the risk of women and babies dying during pregnancy and childbirth is three to five times higher for women who are from an ethnic minority background, than for white women.

Given these facts, it is vital that we address these issues head on so we can improve the care and support we provide. Raising awareness is an important first step. We now we need to work together to make sure we are doing our utmost to be part of the solution. We can’t do this without the support and recommendations of our local community and our staff, so we can have a much better understanding of what the challenges are.

Please join us and let’s work together and play our part in changing these statistics. Please contact me straight away for more information and let’s get started!

Contact Lesley Overy , Head of People’s Experience and Engagement for Mid and South Essex Maternity and Neonatal Services.

MSE Neonatal Survey - April 2021

Please can you help us by providing us with honest feedback about your experience of our Neonatal Services.

This feedback will be invaluable in the development of the service and will make sure that it really meets the needs of you as the families in our local community that are using it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to both read this and complete the survey.

If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me at any time:

Lesley Overy 
Head of Peoples Experience and Engagement 
Mid and South Essex Maternity and Neonatal Services

Why we’re providing extra support to pregnant women from diverse ethnic backgrounds

Some studies suggest pregnant woman from a minority ethnic background are more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus than white women, so maternity services have been asked to take extra precautions to keep you safe, which includes prioritising your care and access to services.
It is also important that you take extra steps to protect yourself and follow the advice about how to avoid getting coronavirus. If you think you have coronavirus then alert your maternity team and they will advise you about what to do next.
Remember to attend all your antenatal appointments and seek help early from your midwife or maternity team if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health. Get help early so you have the best chance of recovery.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest coronavirus pregnancy and birth advice at, which has links to helpful resources; including a range of topical videos and leaflets and an animation. Alternatively contact NHS111 or in an emergency dial 999.

If you’re worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team. They are here to help you so get help early.

Southend Triage: 

01702 358301

Basildon Triage:

01268 391774

Broomfield Day Assessment:

01245 362305

Campaign to raise awareness - Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well

Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses.

Information to download

Feeling your baby move [pdf] 145KB

Reduced Fetal Movements - What happens next [pdf] 612KB

Reduced Fetal Movements leaflet - March 2019 [pdf] 603KB

Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well - Feedback [pdf] 165KB

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnancy and newborn babies

This information is for you if you (or a friend or relative) are expecting a baby, planning to become pregnant, or have recently had a baby.

It tells you about group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection in babies in the first week after birth (known as early-onset GBS), and provides links to further information about late-onset GBS infection.

It includes the current UK recommendations for preventing GBS infection in newborn babies.

Click on the link below for more information including printable and audible versions of this leaflet:


MSE Maternity VTE Awareness Information

MSE maternity services are keen to raise the awareness for women and their families about the signs and symptoms of Thrombosis, how to get help and also the treatments available.

Please see below a series of posters that provide more information and which are available for you to download and print.

INHI Administration [pdf] 2MB

Thrombosis UK - Thrombosis and Pregnancy [pdf] 278KB

Thrombosis UK - VTE - Post-Partum [pdf] 2MB

VTE Signs and Symptoms [pdf] 86KB

Screening tests for you and your baby

Screening tests are used to find people at higher risk of a health problem. This means they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment, or make informed decisions about their health.

Public Health England provide comprehensive information on all of the screening tests available for you and your baby.

Click on the booklet image below to access this useful resource.

Screening tests for you and your baby

This booklet is also available in the following foreign languages:

Chinese (simplified)

Your community midwife can discuss screening in more detail and answer any questions or concerns.  

Audio Versions

There are also audio versions (in English) of the screening booklet available here (scroll to bottom of web page).