Minister praises standard of new delivery suite at N&N

Junior health minister Dan Poulter visiting new mum Caroline Nyadzayo and her 4 hour old son Munashe

Junior health minister Dan Poulter visiting new mum Caroline Nyadzayo and her 4 hour old son Munashe on the maternity ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital during his visit.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A minister praised the way a Norfolk hospital had improved levels of dignity and privacy for women giving birth following a major refurbishment of its delivery suite.

Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and junior health minister, said the improvements at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital had made a significant difference towards patients' experience.

The hospital's delivery suite reopened in October following a 15 week refurbishment following an £272,000 grant from the government, which helped ensure that all birthing rooms have en-suite facilities. The number of birthing rooms in the delivery suite was also increased from 12 to 15 to cope with the county's rising birthrate.

Dr Poulter, who is a qualified doctor specialising in obstetrics and gynaecological medicine, said managers at the N&N had made the investment go a long way.

The Conservative MP said he once worked in a hospital where four pregnant women had to share one bathroom. He added that the investment at the Colney had created a 'brilliant' birthing environment.

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'They have benefitted from some of the £25m over the last year to improve the birthing environment and increase dignity and privacy for women giving birth. It is about modernising maternity services and making them fit for purpose for the 21st century.'

'You can see how that money has really improved the quality of the birthing environment. It is an impressive unit and they have some dedicated staff that are working hard to look after patients,' he said.

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Dr Poulter was given a tour of the new-look delivery suite and visited the midwifery-led delivery unit and neonatal intensive care unit yesterday. He was told that the number of births at the N&N had risen from 4,000 a year to 6,000. He added that the number of midwives working in the NHS had increased by 6pc to cope with demand.

Dr Poulter was also due to visit Beccles and District War Memorial Community Hospital yesterday, but cancelled his trip due to the severe weather warnings. Dr Poulter, along with Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee, had planned to meet with Paul Steward, chairman of East Coast Community Healthcare, director of adult nursing Elaine James, community hospital matron Susie Capon, and the chief executive of NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG Andy Evans.

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