Changes coming to inpatient care at St Peter’s Hospital

We would like to inform you that we will be temporarily moving midwifery-led and low-risk births from St Peter's Hospital in Maldon to the William Julien Courtauld (WJC) Birthing Centre in Braintree. This move will allow us to provide the best quality care for our population by giving families more choice and access to modern facilities.

What this means for you

Maternity outpatient services including antenatal and postnatal care clinics, educational classes, and diagnostic screenings will continue to be available at St Peter's Hospital in Maldon. However, this centre will no longer provide labour and delivery services to people who are giving birth.

Midwife-led maternity units at Southend, Broomfield, and Basildon hospitals will continue to operate as usual and will not be affected by the changes.

Your comfort and choice is our priority

Transferring the inpatient maternity service to Braintree means it will be available to a greater population of women in the north of the county. The birthing unit is a modern purpose-built suite with better facilities, and it can accommodate more patients. The changes will also reduce waiting times and improve outcomes for women and birthing people this winter.

The changes are scheduled to take place in the autumn of 2023.

Why the change?

WJC has modern, purpose-built facilities and will allow us to care for more families wanting to give birth in a midwife-led unit. St Peter's has faced challenges in staffing and issues with the condition of the in-patient part of building, impacting the quality of care we aim to provide. There are currently an average of six births a month from this facility.

Looking ahead

We understand that this may be a change for some women but we believe that it is the best decision for the safety and well-being of our patients. We are working closely with women and birthing people who are affected by this decision to ensure that they have the support they need during their pregnancy and birth.

Please speak to your midwife if you have any questions or concerns or find more information here.

Pregnancy vaccinations

The Immunisation team at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust is offering vaccines to women and birthing people who are over 16 weeks pregnant until March 2024. The team is conducting drop-in clinics at maternity departments in Basildon, Broomfield, and Southend hospitals. Please find out more information on the Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust:

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

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