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Airedale Hospital to create midwife-led unit
Airedale Hospital is set to create a new bespoke midwifery-led unit to create a homely environment for women giving birth after receiving £748,000 from the Department of Health.
The hospital is one of more than 100 across the country to get a share of the Department of Health’s £25 million fund to improve and upgrade their maternity units.
The plan at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust is to create a unit which is less clinical and a more relaxing place to give birth.
The refurbished and upgraded unit will provide four birthing rooms – two with static birthing pools and two with connection points for mobile birthing. These will have en-suite wet room facilities providing more dignity and privacy for women.
The rooms will be refurbished with new floors and furnishings, soft lighting, artwork and music. All the rooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art birthing equipment.
In addition, there are plans for all four rooms in the unit to have individual garden facilities.
The plans include a self-contained bereavement suite where families can be treated with privacy and dignity at a time when they are most vulnerable. This facility includes a lounge area, a bedroom with an ensuite wetroom and a dedicated treatment and examination area, with a private remembrance garden.
Building work is expected to start next month and be completed by April. About £30,000 will be spent on new equipment including birthing chairs and mobile birthing pools.
Claire Mathews, head of midwifery at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This will make a huge difference to the experience that mums and their families have of our maternity services providing a much more positive experience.
“Our plan has been developed in response to feedback from people who use our maternity services and we would like to thank them for their support with putting forward this bid. The design also includes recommendations from local voluntary group Airedale Mums and the National Childbirth Trust following a review of our unit in March 2012.
“Whilst women have told us that they do rate highly the quality of maternity care provided by the Airedale team, the current physical environment is poor and does not compare well to the new birthing centres now available for women to choose from in neighbouring hospitals.”