Funding crisis for breastfeeding drop-ins in Andover and Basingstoke area

This makes me really, really angry!

How is it possible, in this day and age, that we have no funding for Basingstoke and Andover breastfeeding drop-in’s!!?!?!?!?

Funding crisis for breastfeeding drop-ins in Andover and Basingstoke area

Basingstoke and Andover breastfeeding drop-ins remain open right now and at least until the end of May.

We have no secured funding beyond then.

Check Facebook for updates:

Breastfeeding drop-ins in Andover and Basingstoke area set up two years ago have been funded by grants so far

You’ll be aware that for the past two years a group of NCT trained breastfeeding counsellors have been providing breastfeeding support to mothers through a series of breastfeeding support drop-ins in these areas.

The drop-ins have been managed by the not-for-profit organisation called Hampshire BFCs Ltd. and the funding was provided through grants initially from Hampshire County Council and this past year through grants from the Borough Council Health and Wellbeing Boards. 

No ongoing funding is available from the CCG

We’ve been working with commissioners at the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the past six months and were hopeful that we would receive ongoing funding from them. Unfortunately we found out last week that the CCG have decided that they are not intending to change the way they fund maternity services and so will be unable to fund us. This is bitterly disappointing for us and the women we support.

What this means for the breastfeeding drop-ins NOW

We are vigorously exploring any possible short term options for funding and intend to stay open for as long as possible.

All breastfeeding drop-ins remain open as normal right now and at least until the end of May 2015.

Updates will be posted on our Facebook page regularly. Please check there regularly.

What this means for the breastfeeding drop-ins for the future

We will be forced to close these drop-ins completely within a few months if we don’t find a funding solution.

List of breastfeeding drop-ins which are affected

These are the breastfeeding drop-ins which we provide support at:

  • Christchurch Chineham Health Visitor clinic;
  • Snowdrops Children’s Centre in Overton and Whitchurch, alongside HV clinic;
  • Kingsclere Medical Practice alongside HV clinic;
  • Home Tree Children’s Centre in Tadley alongside HV clinic;
  • Spring Meadow Children’s Centre in Andover (alongside HV clinic on Tuesdays and a standalone session on Fridays); and
  • Brookvale Hall in Basingstoke (in partnership with the parenting charity NCT).

The breastfeeding drop-ins have been extremely successful and had an overwhelmingly positive impact on new mothers, their babies and breastfeeding rates

These drop-in services have been outstandingly successful. We have recently completed this year’s evaluation (report due out very soon) which demonstrates the extremely high value women place on the service and the huge impact it has had on their ability to establish and maintain breastfeeding.

  • 20% of all women who had babies in Andover or Basingstoke in the past year registered at one of our drop-ins;
  • 98% of the women who replied to our survey would recommend the drop-ins;
  • 93% of mothers reported that their breastfeeding issues were fully or partially resolved as a result of attending one of the drop-ins and 87% reported that their confidence in breastfeeding improved as a result of attending; and
  • at 6 weeks, 84% of these babies were exclusively breastfed, compared to 38.3% for North Hampshire CCG area (34.4% Wessex area) at this stage (2014-15 Q3).

We remain hopeful that a resolution will be found though there is nothing longer term or sustainable on the horizon at the moment.

For what it would cost to employ one mid-level health professional (midwife, health visitor or community nurse) these drop-ins could remain open on an ongoing basis.

Please do feel free to distribute this communication widely.

If you would like to contact one of the management team at Hampshire BFCs our contact details are below.


Sarah, Mindy and Fiona

Sarah Crowdy 07736 235702

Mindy Noble 07769 040509

Fiona Robertson 07714 214100

Breastfeeding Counsellors and Management Team for Hamphire BFCs Ltd.

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