Covid: Aneurin Bevan Health Board directs births to Grange University Hospital amid staff sickness

The disruption to maternity services will last more than a week. Credit: PA

A health board has been forced to halt maternity services across its area due to sickness and staff shortages.

Midwifery-led birthing has been temporarily ceased at hospitals under the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which covers parts of South East Wales.

The health board said it is currently experiencing a high number of births and short term staff absence due to sickness and self-isolation in their midwifery services.

In a statement it said: "We have recently recruited additional midwives into our vacancies and these will be starting with us later in October.

The Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport is among those affected. Credit: Google Maps

"In the meantime, to ensure the safety of expectant mothers and babies, we have taken the decision to temporarily cease home birthing services and close our midwifery-led birthing areas in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Nevill Hall Hospital, Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan and Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

"These temporary arrangements will allow us to redeploy our midwives to the Grange University Hospital, where all births will temporarily be directed.

"We apologise to the small number of expectant mothers who will be affected by this change. If you are due to have your baby and need to contact a midwife you can continue to call the numbers provided to you in your handheld notes."

This arrangement will be in place from 2pm on October 7 until 8am on October 18. Aneurin Bevan Health Board hope all maternity services will be able to re-open, as usual, from October 18.