Northumbria secures funding boost for maternity care
Facilities at maternity units across Northumberland and North Tyneside are set to be improved thanks to a share of £25million of national funding.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has secured £166,000 funding from the Department of Health after successfully bidding for the cash for all five of its maternity units last year.
This money will be used to improve facilities for women at Berwick Maternity Unit, Hillcrest Maternity Unit in Alnwick and units at Wansbeck, Hexham and North Tyneside general hospitals.
Funding will be used by the Trust to:
• provide birthing pools for the midwifery-led units at Berwick and Alnwick (Hillcrest) which can help make labour less stressful and painful
• buy specialist equipment for the consultant-led unit at Wansbeck and midwifery-led unit at Hexham which gives women more freedom to move around and change position while in labour
• improve en-suite facilities at the midwifery-led unit at North Tyneside General Hospital providing more dignity and privacy for women.
Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who put together the funding bids, said: “We are delighted to secure this national funding which will enable us to improve facilities for women at all five of our maternity units from Berwick to North Tyneside.
“We worked hard on putting together the bids last year and it is great news that we now have this money to improve facilities for patients and their families and for our maternity staff.
“The improvements will make a big difference to the experience women have during labour by improving privacy and dignity, having more en-suite rooms and providing them with more choice to labour in water or adopt difference positions.”
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is recognised nationally for providing one of the safest maternity services in England with high levels of patient satisfaction in local services and a commitment to providing the highest quality of maternity care.