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Poole Hospital officially opens new maternity units after £4million refurbishment

maternity openingA celebration of the recent £4m refurbishment of St Mary’s maternity unit took place last week (17 October).

The investment will allow the maternity service to support up to 6,000 births each year and provides an additional 13 maternity beds and three additional birthing pools. The work includes a complete refurbishment and relocation of the midwife-led birthing unit with new en-suite facilities, a new antenatal ward layout and a self-contained bereavement suite.

The Haven Suite is designed to provide mums-to-be with a calming, non-clinical environment for labour and includes a total of five rooms, three of which have birthing pools. All rooms are equipped with en-suite facilities, as well as birthing couches, touch-control lighting and temperature controls

The local neonatal unit for sick and premature babies has also be refurbished and modernised to include new intensive care equipment as well as the creation of two extra parent rooms, a kitchen and rest facilities for families. The space around cots has also been increased to offer greater privacy and the wards include an upgraded monitoring system.   

The bereavement suite has two en-suite rooms as well as a separate entrance and exit, which will promote greater privacy to bereaved patients and their families.

Sandra Chitty, head of midwifery, said: “The increase in capacity at St Mary’s is extremely welcome, and supports us in our aims of offering the very best birth experience possible and increased choice for mothers.

The new birthing centre with its improved facilities for water births will be led by the community midwives, and will mean much better continuity of care women classed as ‘low risk’ patients.

“The relocation of existing and additional antenatal beds just down the corridor from the high risk birthing suite means that women who are being induced, or might be classed as slightly higher risk, will have increased access to doctors should they need it.”

Daniel Lockyer, neonatal unit matron, said: “The biggest difference will be the increased amount of space around the cots, which will significantly improve privacy.”

Sandra continued: “Much has been said about the need for maternity services to keep pace with demand, and this investment will ensure Poole Hospital has the capacity to do so.”

The £4m investment contributes to a total of £6.2m allocated to improving maternity care at Poole Hospital in recent years, £40,000 of which came from government funding to provide new birthing pools.

Date: 17 October 2014

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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