A PROJECT that has led to women being given more choices over where they give birth has been a big hit with mums - but missed out on a national award.

Maternity services at Southmead and Cossham hospitals were shortlisted for the annual awards run by the Royal College of Midwives, which chose the Moving Forward project out of hundreds of entries for the final judging.

But the North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs the services, didn't make it into the spotlight when it came to the deciding assessment.

The trust said it was proud of the maternity team and the changes they were making, which resulted from listening to women who used the services.

As well as Bristol's first free-standing midwife-led birth centre which opened at Cossham last year, improvements are being made to the birth centre at Southmead to improve the environment and increase capacity for women who want to have their babies there.

Mums-to-be can now experience a relaxed home-from-home environment with birthing pools, aromatherapy, massage and soft lighting, with partners able to stay overnight.

But if they need interventions during labour, they can be transferred to the central delivery suite.