PARENTS-to-be are invited to an open evening at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) tonight to learn more about a new maternity unit.

The midwifery-led service which is currently based in the main hospital building, will be relocated to a former staff residential block close to the road to provide improved access for arriving mums.

New facilities include two en-suite birthing rooms, both with pools, and a postnatal room with en-suite facilities for those needing to stay overnight.

Acting head of midwifery, Pauline Hawkes, said: “I’m really excited about the new unit. It will enable us to provide a more homely, rather than a clinical, environment for our parents to be and I hope people will come along to our event and find out more.”

There will also be dedicated car parking bays and the location will improve emergency transfers by ambulance should mothers need obstetric support, available at Poole Hospital. The unit is due to open by the summer.

The open evening tonight will be held at 7.30pm in the conference room of the hospital’s education centre and will be an opportunity for parents to be to share their views and speak to midwives about having a home birth. Tea and coffee will be provided.

For low-risk births:

The Bournemouth midwifery birth service, which sees around 380 births a year in the unit and a further 70 home births, is for low-risk women who are expected to have a straightforward birth.

Mothers do not have immediate access to highly technically skilled obstetric staff, such as obstetricians, anaesthetists or neonatal nurses.

Mothers and babies needing this support are transferred to Poole Hospital, which provides a full obstetric service. For more details, or if you want to attend, call June Loveless on 01202 704220 or email