HARLOW: Maternity services prepare for growth
11:30am Monday 27th October 2008 in Where I Live
MATERNITY services at Princess Alexandra Hospital are gearing up for an anticipated growth in demand over the next few years.
Changes in East Hertfordshire and North London, coupled with the expected population boom, mean more couples are seeking to come to Harlow.
Director of Women’s and Children’s Services Wendy Matthews said: “We’ve achieved a great deal in terms of the facilities and the choice on offer, but we are continually expanding and developing our service to cater for those who wish to come here.
“More recently we have spent over £1m improving the department. We can now boast a new state of the art low risk, midwife led birthing unit, a spacious maternal and fetal assessment unit and an improved environment for women and staff.
“This pace of development is set to continue into the future. Plans over the coming years include the expansion of our neonatal intensive care unit, the recruitment of further midwives and the start of advanced midwife training.”
The trust’s new £350,000 birthing unit provides 24-hour support in a home-from-home environment. It has two birthing rooms – one with a pool – and is managed by midwives and maternity assistants who provide a range of antenatal clinics and a range of delivery options for mothers with low risk pregnancies.
On its first birthday in April, the birthing unit celebrated with the delivery of its 400th baby and more than 200 women have opted to use the new birthing pool.
Unit manager Anna Peacock said: “Our overarching aim is to provide a top quality service that values women and offers them a greater range of choice. “Women will either book to use the unit as their preference when they first meet their midwife or can be assessed when they go into labour. Equally our community teams are busy and assisting more mums deliver at home than ever before.”
If you wish to use the maternity service at Princess Alexandra Hospital, visit www.pah.nhs.uk