First baby born at Hartlepool's revamped birth centre with another 96 mums-to-be booked in

Hartlepool’s revamped birthing centre has welcomed its first baby with another 96 mums-to-be booked in.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th March 2021, 1:44 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee has now heard the suite delivered its first birth in February while another 96 pregnant women are booked in.

The head of midwifery at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stephanie El-Malak, said: “We have had a birth in the unit in February.

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The active birthing room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool's new Rowan Suite.
The active birthing room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool's new Rowan Suite.

“We’re very excited, the team of six girls and the lead are very, very committed to birth in Hartlepool and midwifery-led care, so it’s a real positive, we’re very excited and pleased with how it’s gone.”

She added they have not been able to publicise the details of the birth yet due to the pandemic.

But they hope to do so in the future to encourage others to give birth at the unit.

Louise Johnson, care group director at the trust, said: “We started to take bookings in September, so consequently it’s a longer term vision, but the first baby was born in February and we’ve currently got 96 ladies on the caseload for that team.

Head of midwifery Stephanie El- Malak.

“So they’re receiving all their pre-natal and post-natal care in Hartlepool and we will endeavour for those ladies to deliver in the unit.”

Councillors on the audit and governance committee praised the services on offer at the hospital and the steps being taken to ensure women can give birth in Hartlepool.

Cllr Brenda Harrison said: “This is really good news, really positive and hopefully it will just keep building up, and the facilities look fantastic.

“To actually not give the opportunity for Hartlepool people to have their babies born in Hartlepool was atrocious actually, so it’s really good news.”

Based on the ground floor within the hospital’s Maternity Hub, the Rowan Suite includes a birthing pool and an active birthing room as well as private en suite delivery rooms.

It comes after an action plan by hospital managers at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to improve maternity services in the town.

This followed ongoing concerns from politicians and residents about the large fall in the number of Hartlepool births in recent years.

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