Maternity Unit

Maternity Unit
Level 4
Torbay Hospital
Lowes Bridge
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Day Assessment: 01803 656058
Antenatal Clinic: 01803 654612
Delivery Suite: 01803 654631/654641
John MacPherson Ward: 01803 654604/ 654603
Special Care Baby Unit: 01803 654602

Our philosophy

To provide quality of care tailored to the individual needs of both mother and baby within a caring and friendly environment. We believe that the care you receive before, during and after the birth of your baby is vital in making the experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible.

To achieve this it is our aim that:

  • You feel in control of all aspects of your care.

  • You are able to make decisions about your care based on your individual needs and wishes, having discussed options fully with the professionals involved.

  • You feel there is continuity in your care and that where possible you have the opportunity to meet the midwife who will help you birth your baby.

  • You have your own ‘named’ midwife from the start of your pregnancy who will follow your care through until a month after your baby is born.

Maternity care provided by Torbay and South Devon is managed centrally at the Women’s Health Unit at Torbay Hospital. You may attend here for Antenatal appointments, scans and the birth in the Consultant Led Unit.

To familiarise yourself with the different areas of the Maternity Unit, please see our Tour of the Torbay Maternity Unit video.

Tour of the Torbay Maternity Unit

Where can you have your baby?

How to choose where to give birth

At home
Your midwifery team will care and for support you during your labour and birth.

In hospital
When your labour starts your midwife or one of the team will aim to visit you and accompany you to the hospital. If all is well you may be discharged as soon as you wish following the birth. The maternity unit is fitted with an electronic security system.

In a community hospital
Did you know that Newton Abbot Community Hospital has a dedicated midwifery-led birthing unit?

Tour of the Whitelake midwifery-led unit at Newton Abbot Hospital

The Whitelake midwifery-led unit is available for use by any pregnant women in the South Devon area who do not have any medical or pregnancy complications. The unit has two rooms, one of which has a birthing pool. The facilities include multi-position birth beds as well as private en-suite bathrooms.

To visit the Whitelake midwifery-led unit for a tour, please call 01626 324651.

If you would like to speak to a Midwife about birthing in the unit, please call 01626 324530.

Directions can be found on our Newton Abbot Community Hospital page.


The Maternity Service is responsible for the well-being of both mother and baby during pregnancy, delivery and in the first days after the birth. We provide a fully integrated Midwifery Service.

Team Midwifery is provided by five teams covering all GP practices in Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Dawlish/Kingsteignton, Kingskerswell; Ashburton; Bovey Tracey; Buckfastleigh; Dartmouth; Moretonhampstead; Totnes. Each team provides total care in line with Changing Childbirth recommendations.

All areas offer a midwifery-led home birth service to low risk women.

As soon as you think you may be pregnant, you can arrange an appointment direct with the midwife. Either ring your surgery or the team direct.

Maternity care can be accessed 24 hours a day. Routine appointments are usually between 9am – 5pm on week days.

Clinical supervision

At Torbay we use the A-EQUIP model of supervision to support our maternity staff. We have introduced the role of the Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA). All of our midwives have access to a PMA. The PMA’s are experienced midwives who are available to support the continuous improvement process that aims to build personal and professional resilience of midwives, enhancing the quality of care for women and babies.

Maternity notes

To encourage involvement between mother and midwife and to improve care you will be asked to carry your own notes. These will be given to you when you first meet your midwife. It is important that you keep your notes with you at all times, e.g. if you go on holiday. Always take them with you when you see your midwife, GP or visit the maternity unit. Please remember that your notes are a legal document.

Day assessment

Situated at the far end of the antenatal clinic, open Monday to Friday 9am to 5 pm. Outpatient care is given here to women who have antenatal problems but who do not need to be admitted to hospital, e.g. raised blood pressure. Your GP, midwife or hospital doctor may ask you to attend day assessment or you can self-refer for a same-day appointment if you have concerns. Please phone 01803 656058 for further advice.

Play area and infant changing facilities

Available within the antenatal clinic.

Preparation for birth and parenthood classes

These are held in your local Children’s Centre with input from midwives and health visitors. Partners are welcome, but if they can’t attend, a friend or relative can accompany you. These classes give parents-to-be an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues. Please speak to your midwife about your local classes.


Exercise in water for pregnant women (no midwifery presence):

Held at:Oldway School, PaigntonWednesday11 – 12
Dawlish Leisure CentreMonday10 – 11


The doctor needs to know what medication you have been taking when you are admitted. This should be handed to the midwife on arrival. If you hold a special card, e.g. STEROID CARD, bring this along too and show it to the midwifery staff. While in hospital, you should only take medicines prescribed by hospital doctors. Before discharge you will be given any medicines you require to take home.

Support groups

For useful numbers of support groups please refer to the pregnancy book or ask your midwife.

Perinatal mental health service

Devon Partnership Trust’s Perinatal Mental Health Service is dedicated to working with women in pregnancy who are concerned about their emotional or mental wellbeing. For more information, visit Devon Partnership Trust’s website.

Suggestions and complaints

We are constantly trying to improve our service to mothers, their relatives and friends. Your views on the service you have received would be useful in helping us to identify things that ought to be improved. Please discuss any suggestions or complaints with the ward midwife or your named midwife. Alternatively, you can write to or request to see a member of the maternity services management team, who will speak to you in confidence. Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is also available.

We hope that you have found these videos helpful. We use video across many of our services and you can see a list of the other services that use video.

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