"No longer allowed to tour birthing centre"

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

I was encouraged to visit the birthing centre at Northumbria Emergency Hospital by my midwife and as per the directions on the website which invited me to contact them and book a tour which I did do, we recieved an unfriendly phonecall from a midwife at the birthing centre on the day to say that they were too busy and actually they no longer did tours and that we should just look at the virtual online tour. And, if we still wanted to come and visit we should ask our community midwife to bring us. I am disappointed that you are no longer holding tours as it would have been nice to have seen the facilities and meet the staff.

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Madam,

Firstly I would like to offer an unreserved apology – we do not expect any of our patients to encounter rude or unhelpful staff.

I understand your frustration at the fact we are no longer offering tours of the birthing centre. The reason for this is because, as the maternity ward has become increasingly busy, we are often fully occupied, making visits more difficult. The increased busyness of the ward also means that unfortunately we do not have the capacity for our ward midwives to give tours. We do still welcome visits if pre-booked, with your community midwife. We also now have a virtual tour online, which you mention in your review, which is great to watch and very informative. Please see the link below to the virtual tour:


If you would like to discuss things further please email me at Patient.Experience@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk.

Kindest regards,


Jessica Mallach – Head of Quality Improvement and Patient Experience