December 6 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Women in labour are less likely to be turned away from hospital following the expansion of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s delivery suite, officials said yesterday.
Midwives and patients transferred to the Colney hospital’s delivery suite on Wednesday following a three month refurbishment of the unit.
Officials spoke of their delight following the reopening, which has increased the number of birthing rooms from 12 to 15 and six extra bathrooms have been created so that all birthing rooms have en-suite facilities.
The work, which has also resulted in a fresh lick of paint at the delivery suite and creation of a larger recovery room for women who have had a caesarean section, follows an extra £272,000 of government funding earlier this year to cope with a rising birth rate. The hospital has also invested in new cots for the birthing rooms.
Glynis Moore, head of midwifery at the NNUH, said the extra rooms had been created by making better use of space on the unit. She added that the staff and patients had coped “fantastically” when the delivery suite was relocated to the Cley ward where visiting was restricted because of less space.
“The staff are really pleased with it and hopefully the patients will like it too. The benefits for the patients is that hopefully with the additional rooms, they will not have to wait so long to get to a birthing room and there is less risk of diverting women to other units,” she said. The NNUH had to close its maternity ward 15 times last year and 34 women were diverted to other hospitals because it was full to capacity.
The number of recovery rooms has been increased from one to two so that women who have a caesarean section can stay longer on the delivery suite.
Last year, the hospital saw 6,352 births, compared with the 4,929 births in 2003. However, officials are not expecting the birth rate to go up this year.