Revamp to give best start to life at Royal United Hospital maternity wing
The maternity wing at the Royal United Hospital is to be given a £400,000 facelift.
Funding for work to upgrade delivery suites, bathrooms and lighting will come from the Department of Health as part of a £25-million package of improvements to more than 100 hospital maternity departments.
The Princess Anne Wing – which is run by the Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust – will get a major refurbishment aimed at improving conditions for mothers and their partners.
The work will upgrade ten delivery suites including one with a birthing pool.
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More showers will be installed in the unit's bathrooms to replace some of the baths, so that women have greater choice.
The trust says a new lighting system will mean mothers will be able to give birth in more natural light.
Teresa Harding, general manager for the trust's women's and children's directorate, said: "This is great news for local women planning a birth with us, and also for our staff. We asked our mums and dads about what changes they would like, so we know these are the improvements that will make a big differencee. As well as generally revamping the unit, so it provides a more modern and comfortable birthing experience, the improvements will also provide a more pleasant working environment for staff."
The DoH said applications for funding had only been approved "where there was evidence that local mums and dads wanted the changes."
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but it can present a real challenge for mums and families, particularly those experiencing it for the first time. We are now going to see huge improvements to maternity services right across the country."