Our maternity services are for pregnant ladies, their partners and new mothers. At your first appointment with your midwife, you will be able to discuss the various places where you can have your baby.

If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy with no medical problems, your options will range from giving birth at home or in a Birth Centre, with support from experienced midwives, to consultant led care in the hospital.

You do not need to make a decision until late in your pregnancy. Wherever you choose to have your baby, we aim for you to have a positive and satisfying birth experience.

We are one of a small number of maternity services nationally that is able to offer a full range of choice of place of birth, including:

All our facilities are purpose-built, clean and modern with birthing pools available in all the birth centres and on the birth suite.

Over 6500 women choose to have their babies at ELHT in the last 12 months.

We were the first Trust in the world to be awarded the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Gold Standard accreditation in 2017. This means we consistently demonstrate best practice standards around infant feeding and relationship building within maternity services. 

Services and treatments offered

What we offer:

·         Full range of choice of place of birth

·         Antenatal clinics 

·         Ultrasound scan facilities

·         Specialist medical antenatal clinics (for women with medical conditions such as Diabetes)

·         Specialist multiple pregnancy (twins & triplets) clinic

·         Antenatal day unit

·         Central Birth Suite with high dependency area

·         Three Birth Centres (Burnley, Blackburn & Rossendale)

·         Antenatal and Postnatal Community Midwifery Services

·         Home birth service

·         Triage

·         We have now started offering remifentanil PCA as an alternative to epidural in labour.

For maternity services there are specific Risk Management Standards set by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST - Insurance) which measure the clinical quality and safety of the services being provided.


Antenatal Care

Looking after you, your family and your unborn baby is of great importance to us at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.

We aim to give you the very best care and help you to have a positive pregnancy and enjoy a very exciting time in your life.

You can attend antenatal support in a wide range of settings in Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire.

Contacting a Midwife

Once you know you are pregnant you can contact your midwife by either contacting or visiting your GP or your local Children’s Centre in order to arrange an appointment with a midwife.

A booking appointment with a midwife will be arranged and she will ask you a series of screening questions which will assist you with your choice of type of care.

It is important to make contact with a midwife as early as possible in your pregnancy as this results in early information regarding health and screening information. This can help the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby reducing the chance of complications and ensuring babies get the best start.

Antenatal Screening

A full antenatal screening programme is offered to all women and discussed in full at the booking visit.

Screening tests are non-invasive but are not diagnostic. There is support from a screening midwife for women if tests are positive.

Where abnormalities or severe complications are found there is an excellent referral service to the larger centres in the North West where more specialized care can be given.

Hospital stays during your pregnancy

There are many reasons why you may be admitted to hospital during the antenatal period and we realize that this can be a very anxious time for you and your family.

Antenatal Inpatient services are provided at Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital.

The ward provides 16 antenatal beds for women admitted during their pregnancy. There are three bays with four beds in each and four single side rooms.

Related sites


Our guidance, advice, quality standards and information services for health, public health and social care. Also contains resources to help maximise use of evidence and guidance.

Healthy Start

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

Our birth centres

What is a birth centre? 

Birth centres are 'home from home' facilities that offer you and your family a relaxing and tranquil environment.

They are an ideal place for healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies, who do not want a home birth, and yet don't want or need a hospital-like facility.

The centres are run by experienced midwives and maternity care assistants, who will support you to have your baby with minimum intervention. Research shows that you are more likely to have a normal birth, without need for medical intervention if you have your baby in a birth centre or at home.

If you are considering using a birth centre, please ask your midwife for more information.

If you choose to have your baby at a birth centre, you will receive antenatal care from your team of midwives either in the birth centre of your choice or a community venue such as your GP surgery or local children's centre.

We have three birth centres that are located at Blackburn, Burnley and Rossendale. 

Amenity beds

What is an amenity bed?

An amenity bed is available to NHS patients who wish to pay for the privacy of a single en-suite room during their stay in the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Can I pre-book an amenity bed?  

When you are admitted in labour or admitted to the ante natal ward please ask your midwife to check availability. If you are coming in for a gynaecological procedure or operation you can request a amenity bed on notification of your admission date. 

These rooms are booked on a first come first served basis and rooms are subject to availability, Rooms cannot be booked in advance During periods of high occupancy on the ward or due to clinical requirements, amenity beds may not be available. If you are occupying an amenity bed that is needed for a clinical reason by another woman, we will need to relocate you to an alternative room or in a ward area.

How much does it cost? 

A charge of £130 per overnight stay (or £80 up to 12 hours) is payable for each night spent in an amenity bed. This provides you with a single en-suite room. Payment is for room only and does not constitute private midwifery or medical treatment or care.

How do I pay? 

An amenity room booking form should be completed on the day of admission and day of discharge from the room. Rooms will be charged on a per overnight stay basis. When you leave to go home, payment will be calculated for the number of nights you occupied the room. Following your discharge an invoice will be forwarded to your home address, unfortunately, we do not deal with insurance companies direct. 

Please Note: you will not be charged for the use of these rooms unless you have specifically requested one. 

For further details please contact the Amenity bed Facilitator on 01282 804239.

Where to find us

Antenatal Care:

  • Community antenatal clinics in health centres, children’s centres and GP surgeries
  • Consultant clinics – at Burnley, Blackburn and Rossendale
  • Scans – Burnley, Blackburn and Rossendale
  • Medical antenatal clinics – Burnley and Blackburn
  • Multiple pregnancy clinic – Burnley
  • Antenatal day unit – Burnley and Blackburn
  • Antenatal ward - Burnley


Care for labour and birth:

  • Home birth service (Midwife led)
  • Free-standing birth centres at Blackburn and Rossendale (Midwife led)
  • Alongside birth centre at Burnley (Midwife led)
  • Central Birth Suite (Consultant led)

Postnatal Care:

  • Postnatal ward at Burnley
  • Community postnatal service
  • Postnatal clinics in the birth centres at Burnley and Blackburn

Services at Burnley are delivered from Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre on our Burnley General Teaching Hospital site.

Service Lead

Angela O'Toole – Head of Midwifery and Divisional Director of Nursing

Key staff


Tracy Thompson – Midwife Matron; Central Birth Suite and Postnatal Ward

Erica Doyle – Midwife Matron; Birth Centre’s, Antenatal Services and Postnatal Community


Mrs Fiona Hamer – Clinical Director

Dr Helen Ribbans - Associate Clinical Director

Quality markers

  • All our facilities are clean, modern facilities all newly purpose built in the last 3 years.
  • Birthing pools are available in all the birth centres and on the birth suite
  • Over 6500 women choose to have their babies at ELHT in the last 12 month
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the Lancashire Women and Newborn centre (LWNC)  in autumn 2012 and gave us excellent feedback;  all  the quality standards which we were assessed against were met
  • We have been awarded the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation since 1998. This means we consistently demonstrate best practice standards around infant feeding and relationship building within maternity services. 
  • Positive feedback from women and families who have used our services


For maternity services there are specific Risk Management Standards set by the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST - Insurance) which measure the clinical quality and safety of the sevices being provided.

We achieved Level 2 when externally assessed against CNST Maternity Risk Management - Standards in 2011 demonstrating that robust risk management processes are in place in the service, and that safe and high quality care is given.

The service is being assessed against the Level 3 criteria (highest level that can be achieved) in 2013.

The length of time that a consultant is present  on the birth suite is in line with national guidance

EMPOWER-( Empowering mothers providing options with education and relaxation)

This is a programme that is being offered by Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre to pregnant parents. The programme consists of two audio downloads. These can be purchased at a cost of £5 for both downloads

The downloads consist of information about:

·         Our fight/flight response, what is this? How it works and how this can affect how we feel

·         How a woman’s body works during labour using visualisation in an easy to understand manner

·         Relaxation scripts to listen and relax to. These can be used during pregnancy labour and birth.

How to order

Please email empower@elht.nhs.uk and full instructions of how to purchase will be emailed to you.

Please ensure you have provided us with your:

·         Name

  • RXR (Hospital) number
  • How many weeks pregnant you are
  • How you heard about EMPower

If you have any questions at all regarding EMPower please contact Maria or Sarah on 01282 804374

Or Gillian at Blackburn Birth Centre on 01254 733434