Steve Brine visited the Royal Hampshire County Hospital on Friday 17th January as Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust officially opened two new birthing suites.
The two suites, named Water Meadow and Willow, were first used in the summer of 2013. Since then Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital alongside Andover War Memorial Hospital, Hampshire Hospitals Maternity Centre in Andover and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, has seen an increase in the rate of normal births.
Mothers who have given birth in Royal Hampshire County Hospital were invited to help create the home from home feel to the birthing suites. They helped on the detailed planning; chose the colours of the rooms and advised on the furniture and equipment they wanted to be available. Both of the suites have birthing pools which have proved very popular.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chairman Elizabeth Padmore said at the opening: "Around 2,800 babies are born in Winchester each year, and our midwives work with mothers and their partners to help them make decision about the most appropriate place to birth their baby – at home, at our maternity centre in Andover or in their local hospital. The new birthing suites are a great addition where midwives locally can care for mothers and babies in a midwifery led area.
"I hope you will agree that everyone has worked hard to create an amazing environment in which families can experience such a special event - the birth of their baby."
Winchester's local MP, Steve Brine, gave a speech to mark the official opening of the birthing suites. He said: "I was delighted to be present at this fantastic event, and it was really smart that mothers who had already given birth here were asked to help with the design to create the home-from-home feeling."
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Pictured; HHFT Chairman Elizabeth Padmore and Steve Brine MP admiring the birthing pool in one of the suites while the coloured mood lighting is in use
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