Lots of mod cons for moth­ers-to-be

Min­is­ter sees where DoH money was used

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - Zoe Drewett

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.”

Con­trib­uted photo

n NEW­BORN: Health min­is­ter Dan Poul­ter (far right) with proud par­ents Dar­ren and Mar­ion Judd and baby Billy Jo in a re­fur­bished labour ward

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