Enquiries: 01305 251150

Maternity Service

Updated 9 February 2024

Our vision for our maternity and neonatal services

To be safe, personalised, kind, professional and family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support centred on their individual needs and circumstances. Where all staff are supported to deliver women centred care, work in high performing teams, within a well led organisation and culture which promotes innovation, continuous learning, and breaks down organisational and professional boundaries.

COVID-19 guidance

If you need to attend the Maternity Unit and have tested positive for COVID-19, or think you may have COVID-19, please tell the midwife as soon as possible – either over the phone or immediately you arrive. You will still receive the care you need regardless of your COVID-19 status.

If your birth partner has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms, please do all you can to bring another family member or friend with you into the hospital. If this is not possible, please discuss this with a midwife before you arrive as it may not be possible to allow your birth partner to come in with you.

COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy 

The vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women. If you are worried about having the vaccine, please discuss this with your midwife.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have a range of information for pregnant women about COVID-19 vaccination.

Q&As on COVID-19 vaccines, pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding, as well as a range of videos are available on the RCOG website here.

General information about our maternity service

Our maternity service provides the care for pregnant women and their families in the west of the county. We have approximately 1,750 births a year with a thriving homebirth team. Approximately 8% of our babies are born at home. We have six large birthing rooms, all en-suite.

We also have a separate area for women planning a low-risk birth. It is called The Cove and has two lovely rooms, with birthing pools. If you would like to use The Cove, please talk to your midwife.

Maternity Matters Dorset provides a guide to maternity options and services in Dorset. Read all the information you will need about pregnancy and giving birth here.

Specialist services

We have many specialist services, some led by midwives and some by consultant obstetricians:

  • Smoking cessation team
  • Multi professional diabetic team
  • Consultant-led postnatal clinic
  • Specialist multiple pregnancy team
  • Specialist service for women at risk of premature birth
  • The Cygnet Homebirth team
  • A team of midwives called The Cranberry Team, in the north of the county providing a continuity of carer model for pregnant women
  • Access to a multi-professional service for women struggling with their mental health
  • Specialist team for teenage parents
  • A midwife-led service to support women planning birth after a previous caesarean
  • Breathing and relaxation classes
  • Baby massage classes
  • Tongue-tie assessment and clinic (frenulotomy)
  • Better births and foundations for life classes​​
  • Specialist bereavement team
  • 24-hour access to an epidural
  • A dedicated maternity theatre
  • Antenatal screening service with some onsite fetal medicine provision
  • Special Care Baby Unit that cares for babies from 32 weeks' gestation. The unit has four rooms for parents to be resident with their baby.

Our consultant team

We have eight consultant obstetricians who lead on complex and high risk pregnancies:         

  • Audrey Ryan
  • Francis Afadapa
  • Mamdouh Shoukrey
  • Beena Dandawate
  • Mohamed Siddig
  • Hani Shamseldin
  • Suguna Balasundaram
  • Andrew Mukherjee

Your midwife will be the lead professional for your pregnancy unless you have other complicating factors. In which case, an obstetric consultant will be your lead professional. Ideally you will see the same midwife for the majority of your pregnancy care.

Further information

We are working towards accreditation to the UNICEF Baby Friend Award and have a team of senior maternity support workers who will support you to successfully feed your baby in whichever way you choose.

Most of our postnatal accommodation is large single rooms, fully en-suite and if you are in a single room, your partner is welcome to stay overnight. We can provide a recliner for your partner but would recommend they bring in a pillow and a blanket or cover of some kind. However, ​if all the single rooms are occupied then postnatal accommodation is in small multi-occupancy wards. In this case, unfortunately partners cannot stay overnight.

The reception phone number for the maternity unit is 01305 254267.

Maternity management team

Director of Midwifery and Neonatal Services is Jo Hartley. jo.hartley@dchft.nhs.uk

Selina Willett is her Personal Assistant selina.willett@dchft.nhs.uk

The Maternity Matrons are:

Jane Hall - Intrapartum Care, Screening and High-Risk Pregnancy lead jane.hall@dchft.nhs.uk

Tara Pointer-Putt - Postnatal Care, Community and Public Health lead tara.pointer-putt@dchft.nhs.uk

We are working towards the National Bereavement Care Pathway for pregnancy and baby loss and our service is committed to continuous improvement in bereavement care for those affected by pregnancy or baby loss. More information is available on the NBC Pathway website

More information is also available on the Maternity Matters Dorset website.

Maternity service CQC survey results

You can click here to read a report which outlines the results of the 2023 Care Quality Commission (CQC) survey of women’s experiences of maternity care at Dorset County Hospital.

Maternity service CQC rating

Our maternity service is currently rated as 'Requires Improvement' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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