Maternity bosses in Bradford are to bid for a slice of Government cash to buy recliner chairs for dads who want to stay overnight in hospital with their partners and new babies.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has initiated a pilot scheme which, for the first time, allows new dads to stay overnight and to make them more comfortable it is hoped to buy additional recliner chairs.

A bid will be made for a share of £25 million made available by the Government to improve maternity wards across the country and encourage men to get more involved in childbirth.

The cash can be used to create ensuites, rooms where partners can stay overnight or other facilities such as birthing pools. Announcing the scheme Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: “A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but can present challenges for mums and families, particularly new families. I want to help women and their partners as much as possible.”

Bradford has an active maternity liasion committee where mums can have a say on how materntiy services are run in the city. It has most recently been active in planning the new midwife-led Bradford Birth Centre which opens its doors on November 26.

Julie Walker, head of midwifery at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Any additional funding which encourages fathers or carers to become more supportive of their partners and involved in their child’s birth is to be welcomed.

“For some years now we have had a maternity scheme running at the Bradford Royal Infirmary where one named person can stay with the new or expectant mum from 7.30am to 9pm.

“From September 2012, as part of a pilot scheme, we extended this time period to cover 24 hours. We will be bidding for this money. From November 26, we are also increasing the amount of birth pools to three.”