By Rob George Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 14/12 12:29
MATERNITY chiefs at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have confirmed they intend to bid for a share of a £25million Government grant.
The trust told The Standard it welcomed the announcement of a £25million cash pot to improve birthing environments.
Under the Government’s proposals, maternity services will be able to apply for new funds to offer en-suite facilities, rooms
where partners can stay overnight or purchase such items as more birthing pools.
The Acute Hospitals NHS Trusts, head of midwifery, Patti Paine, said: “We already have some existing schemes that would be eligible for funding, and are reviewing a range of other potential improvements that we can incorporate into a formal bid by the end of the month.”
Health minister Dan Poulter MP said the Government hoped the cash injection would allow mums to give birth with more dignity and in more comfort.
“A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but can present challenges for mums and families, particularly new families,” he said.
“Not a penny of the £25million will be given out unless there is evidence that women have been asked about the changes they want in their local areas.
“Whether it’s more ensuite facilities, overnight rooms for dads, birthing pools or other improvements to the care and experience of women during pregnancy and childbirth.”
The news was also welcome by the Worcester and Droitwich branch of the National Chilbirth Trust (NCT).
A spokesperson said: “We like the idea of having double beds, perhaps in a midwive-led unit, so after the birth everything is nice and cosy.
“I do know that the trust are getting some comfy reclining chairs for dads so that they can stay over if they want to.
“More funds available for maternity units to buy birthing pools and balls is a great idea and we fully support it.
“It’s also important to improve the service they offer - cups and saucers and kettles rather than plastic cups.
“But maybe Health and Safety would probably say that you can’t have hot water round new born babies!,” the spokesperson added.
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