HOSPITALS in Oxfordshire have been named among those with the most expensive private room rates for new mothers.

Women who want a private room – where partners can also stay – after giving birth on the NHS can expect to pay up to £450 a night with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, an analysis has shown.

The trust runs both the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Hospitals offer 'amenity rooms' to women who would like a side room rather than receiving care on a general ward.

Women are told they will still receive the usual NHS care given to women who opt for a ward.

Analysis by the Press Association found OUH charges up to £450 a night for a private room where a partner can stay, the same price as a night at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford.

But the trust also has other amenity rooms which range from £122 to £255 a night.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said charging women for private rooms may be one area 'where clarity is needed about what patients can and can’t expect from the NHS'.

She added: “These charges smack of the NHS’s ongoing scramble for cash as its inadequate funding settlement really begins to bite.”

Louise Silverton, director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives added: “We know lack of postnatal beds is often a reason for temporary closures of services.

"This service must be an add-on and not affect the availability of beds.

“Any money earned from such schemes should be reinvested directly into the maternity service of the trust.”