Women hoping to give birth at Wycombe Birth Centre in Wycombe Hospital between July and October will have to find somewhere else.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust announced today the birthing centre, which sees around 20 pregnant women a month, will suspend its birthing service between July 25 and October 31 and women wanting to have their babies there will be “offered other alternatives”.

The Trust said the measure was “temporary” for three months in order to recruit new midwives and enable staff from the birth centre to be deployed to cover “unfilled shifts” across other parts of the service.

This means around 60 women hoping to have their babies there will have to consider other alternatives during this period, including a home birth, Aylesbury Birth Centre, which offers the same maternity-led service as Wycombe, and the consultant-led labour ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Antenatal and outpatient postnatal care, which receives around 700 visits from mothers and babies every month, will continue to be provided at the centre.

Spokesman Carolyn Morris, chief nurse at Bucks Healthcare Trust, said the Trust was “confident” that with new recruits due to start in October, the centre will be able to re-start care for women giving birth from November 1.

She said: “This was a difficult decision to make and we recognise that it will be very disappointing for women who may have been considering Wycombe Birth Centre for their delivery during the next three months, and for this we are very sorry.

“Following a full risk assessment of staffing levels, we decided that offering alternative options for the women considering giving birth at Wycombe Birth Centre was the safest and least disruptive option in order to maintain a full range of birthing choices and to continue to offer the high standards of quality and safe care for all the women we support in giving birth.

“Our team has done everything possible to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.”