A STATE-OF-THE art birth centre is set to open at Warrington Hospital following a £1.5 million investment.

The midwife-led birth centre will be situated in the Croft Wing and be ready in spring of next year.

The centre is an addition to the Trust’s existing compliment of maternity services which include midwife-led service, community midwife-supported home birthing and obstetric-led care for higher-risk mums.

Focused around state-of-the-art birthing pools, the birthing suites will feature sofas, birthing cubes, cushions and wall art with mood lighting; music and candles complementing the birth experience and providing a relaxed, peaceful entrance to the world.

Kimberley Salmon Jamieson, chief nurse, said: “The Trust Board approved the £1.5 million investment in maternity services earlier this year as part of our capital plan and work is to start this month.

“More than 3,000 babies are born through our maternity service each year and the addition of the new rooms will mean that even more women have even more choice of how and where they give birth.

“This investment is in line with the national Better Births report."

The four new birthing rooms are designed to be welcoming and comfortable and as far removed from a hospital feel as possible.

Tracey Cooper, associated chief nurse in midwifery, said: “We are so excited about the new unit.

“We aim to give our women a completely personalised experience and outcomes show that births are less likely to need intervention and transfers to a medical setting when women give birth in midwife-led units."

The new birth centre will also be a community hub and home of the community midwifery team which will ensure continuity of care as small teams will work closely together so that each expectant mother will know her supporters in preparation for her labour.

Midwife and antenatal appointments will also be held at the centre and women can choose this option instead of being seen at their nearest GP practice and Sure Start centre.

Every aspect of the design is being carefully planned in partnership with new and expectant mums and midwives.

Aromatherapy, acupuncture and massage area will promote a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Following birth, a new post-natal suite will enable partners to stay overnight in comfortable surroundings with their new family in en-suite rooms. Contemporary cots, side tables, changing tables, soft lighting and luxurious bedding will make this room feel like a ‘special home from home’.

In 2017 the Trust’s maternity service was awarded Maternity Service of the Year by the Royal College of Midwives which prompted a visit by royal patron The Princess Royal in May 2018. More recently CQC inspectors awarded the Maternity Service a good rating across all key lines of enquiry for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

Nurse Jamieson added: “We are giving families the very best start on their journey together in every way.

“Our priority is to ensure that every woman receives the best possible personalised care and experience during their time with us. I’m so proud of our midwives for their unshakeable commitment to creating a high quality, diverse service that meets the needs of every expectant mother and their partners during this very special time in their lives.”