Published on: 2 September 2022

Families will once again be able to deliver their babies in South Tyneside as healthcare leaders confirm the re-opening date for the Borough’s Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that plans to fully re-open the Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre (MLBC) at South Tyneside District Hospital are progressing well, with births now expected to resume from Tuesday 1 November 2022.

The Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre in South Tyneside has proved hugely popular since it opened in August 2019 with families travelling from all parts of the region to give birth.  Over 400 babies have been safely delivered at the MLBC since it opened with fantastic feedback from those who have given birth there.

Births at the MLBC had to be temporarily paused at the start of 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 and significant staffing challenges which continued to impact the maternity workforce.  Whilst all antenatal care continued in South Tyneside during this time, births were temporarily moved to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has been working hard to re-open the MLBC as quickly and safely as possible.  The Trust has invested £680,000 to further strengthen the midwifery workforce and is working closely with the whole maternity team in preparation for reopening in November. 

Melanie Johnson, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals said:

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm a date for the full re-opening of our Midwifery-Led Birthing Centre in November. It is such an important part of our maternity service and we can’t wait to start welcoming families back and delivering babies in South Tyneside again.

“Providing safe, high quality maternity services for local families will always be our absolute priority and pausing births at the MLBC was a hugely difficult decision for us. We know that parents want to be able to have the choice to give birth in the Borough and I want to thank people for their patience, understanding and support during this difficult time. 

“I would also like to thank our fantastic maternity staff, both our community midwives and our hospital-based teams who work tirelessly to look after the families and babies in our care.  This has been a testing time, but we can now look forward with certainty as we further develop our fantastic maternity services for the future.”

The MLBC in South Tyneside provides a ‘home from home’ birthing experience for people with low risk pregnancies who have not experienced any previous complications.  The Trust is fully committed to its ongoing success and making South Tyneside the first choice for local families and neighbouring areas, who wish to have a midwifery-led birthing experience.

Confirmation of the re-opening date for births in November comes after a recent restart of parent education classes over the summer. The classes had to be put on hold during the pandemic but have now returned to MLBC marking the first step towards re-opening to births. 

Expectant parents should speak with their community midwife to discuss their birthing options or can contact the Trust directly on 0191 404 1033 to arrange a tour of the MLBC and speak to the Trust’s midwifery team.

For more information about maternity services at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust visit