Suspending the use of Entonox (gas and air) at Basildon Hospital

Following further tests into air quality, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the use of gas and air in the maternity suite at Basildon Hospital to protect our staff who are working on the labour ward for extended periods of time. We hope to have a resolution to this issue as soon as possible.

More testing and monitoring of air quality levels is required before we can reinstate gas and air, and until then, it is absolutely necessary to ensure we can maintain safe levels going forward.

We’re very sorry that women and birthing people using the service won’t have access to Entonox during that time, but would like to reassure them that every other method of pain relief will be available.

While there has been no risk of harm at all to mothers and babies who have used the unit, prolonged exposure to the gas can lead to issues with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Our midwives are contacting the families we expect to have their babies at Basildon soon, to talk to them about the options available to them.It is perfectly safe for service users and their families to continue to use the maternity unit as normal.

For further updates, please see the FAQ on  Labour and birth of your baby.

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Maternity services

Our maternity service

Congratulations on your pregnancy, make sure you book into the maternity service as soon as possible. 

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

Our staff 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. You can find more information here:  MSE - Better Births Choices Booklet [pdf] 581KB

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.

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Maternity Direct

The logo for the Maternity Direct online app Visit to chat with your midwife and to manage your pregnancy care.

Personalised Care and Support Plan (PSCP)

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