Lots of mod cons for mothers-to-be
Minister sees where DoH money was used
AHEALTH minister visited Hillingdon Hospital to see how government funding has been spent on improving labour wards.
Ten wards at the hospital have undergone refurbishment, including new music systems, air-conditioning, TVs and a new birthing pool, all designed to make new mothers’ stay more comfortable.
MP Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and a former NHS hospital doctor, said: “The maternity team here are doing a fantastic job day in, day out and night in, night out, like so many other midwives around the country.
“The problem is facilities are often old, and part of my job has been to secure funding so places like Hillingdon can benefit from an improved working environment.”
An average of 12 babies are born each day in Hillingdon’s maternity unit. It may have to accommodate an extra 2,000 births by 2018 (taking the annual total well over 6,000), following the announcement that Ealing Hospital’s maternity unit could be closing as early as March next year.
Hayes MP John McDonnell expressed his concern about the effect this will have on services in Hillingdon and the difficulties expectant mothers and staff in the borough could face. “Our maternity services are already under severe pressure,” he said.
Shane DeGaris, who is chief executive of the NHS Foundation Trust, said: “People don’t realise how much money is spent on maintenance work around the hospital so it’s always nice to secure money to carry out new improvement works.
“It’s been a good year in that respect and we are looking forward to the opening of our new Acute Medical Unit later this year.”
n NEWBORN: Health minister Dan Poulter (far right) with proud parents Darren and Marion Judd and baby Billy Jo in a refurbished labour ward