Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Labour wards get £25m to share

More than 100 hospitals will receive a share of a £25m fund to refurbish older maternity hospitals and also to improve the choice for women and their experience of maternity care.

The Department of Health said the improvements will include:

  • Nearly 40 new birthing pools to reducethe stress and pain of labour
  • Eight new midwife led units designed to be less clinical and more relaxing
  • En suite facilities in maternity units to provide more dignity and privacy
  • More equipment like beds and family rooms to allow dads and families to remain overnight and support women while in labour or if their baby needs neonatal care
  • Improved bereavement spaces at nearly 20 hospitals to support bereaved families after a tragic event such as a stillborn baby.

Other improvements include equipment that gives women more freedom to move around and change position while in labour and facilities that allow women to choose if they want a bath or shower.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: “A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but it can present a real challenge for mums and families, particularly those experiencing it for the first time.

“We are now going to see huge improvements to maternity services right across the country from birthing pools to family rooms and even new midwifery led units. Thesewill make a big difference to the experience mums and families have of NHS maternity services, with more choice and a better environment where women can give birth.

“Maternity units have had to show evidence that they asked mums and dads about what changes they need to make so we know these are the changes local people really want to see.”

In November, the government opened the £25m fund to applications from local NHS trusts and foundation trusts. Applications for funding have only been approved where there was evidence that local mothers and fathers wanted the changes. Bids were judged by a panel that included representatives from the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.