MATERNITY facilities at hospitals in our region have been given a funding boost to the delight of health bosses.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton, has been awarded £195,000 as part of a national £25m maternity makeover.
The money will be split between the birthing centre at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road, and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, which also provides services for pregnant mums from town.
The exact funding breakdown is yet to be revealed but it will be put towards buying items such as sofa beds for partners, on new equipment across the Trust and towards updating the active birthing suite in Hartlepool. Nationally, more than 100 hospitals will share a £25m fund to improve and upgrade their maternity units after the announcement by Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter.
Janet Mackie, head of midwifery and children’s services at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We’re delighted that our bid for funding has been successful.
“We are extremely proud of our midwifery teams and our service, which values women and their families. We want to be able to provide comfortable, relaxing surroundings for mothers and their babies and these funds will help us to improve our birthing environments.
“The bid was put in after listening to feedback from mums and families.
“The money will be used to buy items such as sofa beds for fathers or partners to improve their experience, for additional equipment for maternity services across the trust and to update the active birthing suite in the birthing centre at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
“Thanks to this additional funding we will be able to improve the birthing experience for mothers and their partners across the whole area that we serve.”
In November, the Government opened the fund to applications from NHS trusts and foundation trusts and applications for funding have only been approved where there was evidence that local mums and dads 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.
Dr Poulter said: “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.”
The Royal College of Midwives’ chief executive, Cathy Warwick, said: “It is great to learn about the positive changes that this extra £25m will make to many units up and down the country.”
Gill Harris, Chief Nurse for NHS North of England, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the decisions taken around the bids and subsequent developments have truly been based on what really matters to women and their families.”