Publish date: 19 April 2021

In the throes of the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 the Acorn Birth Centre at Tameside Hospital quietly opened its doors and began welcoming new babies into the world. This month the centre celebrated its one year anniversary.

It was a project that had been in planning for some time and with a close working relationship with the Tameside and Glossop Maternity Voices Partnership, the team at Tameside and Glossop IC NHS FT knew that they were creating something special where families would really want to welcome their new arrivals to the world – a home from home in many ways.

Meticulous planning went into creating the perfect environment for mum, baby and families. From the dimmable lights, Bluetooth speakers, birthing pools, en-suite facilities and even pull down beds for partners to sleep in the same room as mum, it really does bring a whole new birthing experience.

April marks the one year anniversary since the doors first opened and, 190 deliveries later, the team recently celebrated and reflected on what a year it had been for the centre.

Nikki Pearson, pictured below, was a student midwife at the time the centre opened and, supported by her mentor, delivered the first baby at the new unit. The baby girl, now also one year old will always be remembered by Nikki and the team as the first arrival for the centre. Nikki has since gone on to take up a role as a community midwife working for the Trust and has delivered many babies since.

Commenting on the one year anniversary, Head of Midwifery, Kerry Reede Field said:  “Despite the fact we have been dealing with a pandemic over the last 12 months, it has been a pleasure to see the Acorn Birth Centre be so well received by new parents. The feedback we have had so far has been overwhelmingly positive and we are really excited about all the new arrivals yet to come. Our close working relationship with Tameside and Glossop Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) has enabled us to provide a service which meets the needs of our local population. We are really grateful of the partnership and the benefits this brings parents and families across the borough.”

Karen Williams, Chair, Maternity Voices Partnership Tameside and Glossop added: “We know from feedback we have received from parents that having the option of birthing at the centre, particularly during the pandemic, has made an enormous difference to their experience.  One mum recently shared with us her experience of giving birth to her fourth child at the centre – she told us how reassured she felt about the ability to have a natural birth with the knowledge that the hospital were there on hand if that had been required.”

A virtual tour of the facility is available for families considering having their baby at the centre. You can view the tour by visiting:

For more information about having your baby at the Acorn Birth Centre, please visit our maternity page.