Maternity triage

The Maternity Assessment Suite (MAS)/Triage provides 24/7 maternity triage and care from 20 weeks (18 weeks at West Middlesex) of your pregnancy and up to 28 days after the birth of your baby. We offer telephone advice to women and community healthcare providers.

Please call the unit to discuss any concerns and we will advise you if you need to attend one of our units. Have your pregnancy hand held notes to hand when you call.

Chelsea and Westminster: 020 3315 6000, option 1
West Middlesex: 020 8321 5839

Before 20 weeks’ pregnancy (18 weeks at West Middlesex) if you have an urgent concern regarding your pregnancy please contact your GP, NHS 111 or your nearest A&E.

When to contact the MAS/Triage

If you are concerned about your baby’s pattern of movements: Your community midwives will have discussed the importance of becoming familiar with your own baby’s pattern of movements. From around 31–32 weeks’ pregnancy you should start to notice the baby’s pattern of movements becomes more consistent but if you are concerned the pattern has changed at any time during your pregnancy, try the following to try to encourage your baby to move:

  • Lie on your left side for at least 30 minutes (the baby receives a larger amount of blood and nutrients in this position)
  • Focus on your baby and try not to be distracted by the TV, phones etc—if you are still concerned, please call the MAS/Triage immediately

If you have any of the following complexities with your pregnancy and the baby’s movements are reduced or the pattern has changed: Call Triage and be prepared to come in immediately to the MAS/Triage:

  • Repeated episodes of reduced movements
  • Multiple pregnancy
  • Known growth-restricted baby
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Extremes of maternal age (under-16, over-40)
  • Drug use
  • Obesity (BMI >35)
  • Obstetric cholestasis
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Poor past obstetric history
  • Social concerns regarding access to care

If you think you are in labour: Labour is different for every woman but commonly starts with contractions or your waters breaking. Your community midwife will have discussed signs of labour and when to call the hospital with you towards the end of your pregnancy.

If you think your waters might have broken: This is common during or shortly before the start of labour. Some women will find it obvious when the waters have broken and some will be less sure. If you are not sure, you can place a maternity or sanitary pad in your underwear and observe any leaking fluid. In either situation call the MAS/Triage to discuss what to do next. Note: If you have planned to have your baby in the hospital’s midwife-led Birth Centre then please telephone them on:

Chelsea and Westminster Birth Centre: 020 3315 6000, option 2
West Middlesex Natural Birth Centre: 020 8321 5182 or
West Middlesex Triage: 0208 321 5839

If you notice any vaginal bleeding: Call the MAS/Triage immediately for advice. A ‘show’ (the mucus plug) can start coming away from the cervix days (or sometimes weeks) before you go into labour. This will have a sticky, mucousy and blood-stained appearance and is completely normal. Fresh red bleeding however is not normal. If you are at all unsure contact the MAS/Triage to discuss this. If the bleeding is severe call 999 for an ambulance.

Please also call the MAS/Triage if you experience any of the following:

  • Unusual or severe abdominal or back pain
  • Severe headache not relieved by paracetemol
  • If you have sudden and worsening itching—particularly on the palms of your hand and soles of your feet
  • If you feel very unwell, particularly if you have severe flu-like symptoms
  • Postnatal problems such as very heavy bleeding requiring changing of your sanitary wear, feeling very unwell with flu-like symptoms, poor healing or excessive swelling or pain of perineal stitches or caesarean section wound

Please note: We are unable to see babies in our triage area. If you have a concern regarding your newborn baby that cannot be addressed by your community midwife or GP then you will need to take your baby to your nearest A&E.

The MAS/Triage is intended for acute or emergency situations. If your concern is not an emergency or is not pregnancy/post birth related then you should either discuss this with your community midwife at your next appointment or see your GP. Examples of this are:

  • If you think you might have a urine infection
  • You want a fit to fly letter
  • You require your MATB1 form
  • Itching on your stomach
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting lasting less than 48 hours unless you have a fever over 37.5°C, are not producing very much urine or have worsening stomach pains
  • Swollen hands and feet in the absence of other symptoms

Your visit to the MAS/Triage

If, after a telephone conversation with the midwife in the MAS/Triage, you are advised to attend, please bring your hand-held pregnancy notes with you. This is very important so that we can see how your pregnancy has progressed up to now, your ultrasound scans and any other important documents about your care.

BSOTS (Birmingham Symptom-specific Obstetric Triage System)

If you are attending with an urgent concern we aim to see you for an initial triage appointment within 15 minutes to carry out a brief assessment. After this, depending on the urgency of your situation, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room for ongoing care. We prioritise our patients based on their level of clinical need, not their order of arrival. This may mean that patients who arrive after you may be seen before you. If you are attending with a booked appointment we see you as close to your appointment time as possible but emergencies will take priority. We appreciate your patience and understanding—this helps us to provide safe and effective care.

Women are then seen in the following order:

  • Red (emergency): Seen and treated immediately
  • Amber (urgent): Normally seen within 15 minutes
  • Yellow (moderate): Normally seen within 45 minutes
  • Green (non-urgent): Normally seen within 4 hours

During the COVID-19 pandemic we are unable to allow partners or children to accompany women on visits to the MAS/Triage in either site. Please make alternative arrangements for children to be cared for. If this is very difficult for you, please ask to speak to the midwife in charge before you arrive.

Contact details

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Reuben Maternity Assessment Suite
Combined Triage and Maternity Day Assessment Unit
3rd Floor, Lift Bank B (at entrance to the Birth Centre)

T: 020 3315 6000, option 1

West Middlesex University Hospital

Triage (urgent concerns)
Queen Mary Maternity Unit

Ground floor at entrance to main reception

Maternity Day Assessment Unit (scheduled appointments only)
Queen Mary Maternity Unit
1st Floor, Antenatal reception

T: 020 8321 5839

Useful links

Choose us

Self refer online


Get help (maternity helpline)

Chelsea and Westminster
T: 020 3315 6000

West Middlesex
T: 020 8321 5839 

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Mum & Baby app

Our Mum & Baby app supports your journey with us through your pregnancy, birth and life with your baby—download it today!

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Care Information Exchange

The Care Information Exchange gives you online access to your results, scans and appointments during your pregnancy. Find out more.

eRedbook app

eRedbook is an NHS-approved app that allows you to keep a secure digital record of your child's health and development—download and register today!

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