A new state-of-the-art birthing centre has just been officially unveiled.
Preston Birth Centre has been open to expectant mothers for several months but Baroness Julia Cumberlege officially opened the new home from home experience centre at Royal Preston Hospital, Fulwood, on Wednesday.
The centre has been funded by a £800,000 grant from the Department of Health and it features four new birthing rooms with integrated birthing pools and two overnight suites, which can also accommodate partners.
The unit is midwifery-led, however Consultants, Obstetricians and Paediatric staff are still based at the maternity ward at the hospital and can easily access the new unit if required.
Baroness Cumberlege, chair of the National Maternity Review Team 2015 and chair of the Expert Maternity Group said it is important that the NHS supports women in Preston.
She said: “It’s a real privilege for me to be in Preston and to see the new birth centre officially open its doors. It’s so important that the NHS supports women in Preston and Lancashire and their families to make choices about pregnancy, birth, and post-natal care. The option of a state of the art, midwife-led centre is a development to celebrate.”
Midwives will identify those who are suitable for birthing in the new centre and discuss place of birth options with women during pregnancy.
Cathy Atherton, Head of Midwifery at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For many women, midwife-led care can offer a number of benefits and we are committed to ensuring that local mums have access to the highest standard of midwife-led maternity care at Preston Birth Centre.”
Last year, the midwifery-led birth centre at Chorley and South Ribble hospital using part of the same grant.
And Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said it is a great addition to RPH.
The birth of a baby is a momentous occasion for mums and their partners, so being in a welcoming, family-friendly and high quality birth centre will help ensure that they have the best possible experience.Karen Partington
She said: “This midwifery-led birth unit has been a fantastic addition to our hospital. The birth of a baby is a momentous occasion for mums and their partners, so being in a welcoming, family-friendly and high quality birth centre will help ensure that they have the best possible experience.”