Creating a dedicated homebirth service: results of a 3-year pilot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust


Background: A dedicated homebirth service was established at a large teaching hospital in Birmingham.

Aim: The aim of the 3-year pilot was to increase the homebirth rate from 0.3% to 3% of all Trust births.

Methods: Data were collected on all women referred to the homebirth team and those receiving intrapartum care. This was analysed using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Findings: The pilot achieved a 1.4% homebirth rate and 1.9% intrapartum care rate (a five-fold increase in 3 years) but in spite of extensive promotion of the service, it did not meet the target of 3% of all Trust births. The peripartum transfer rate from home to hospital was 54% for primiparous and 14% for multiparous women with no adverse outcomes.

Conclusions: There has been excellent feedback from the families who planned a homebirth, but increasing the homebirth rate requires a longer term change to the culture surrounding place of birth.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number3
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • homebirth, intrapartum care, maternity support workers, place of birth, culture of birth