Yes Minister! Health boss praises Newham University Hospital’s new maternity wing

Dr Dan Poulter, Minister for Public Health visited Newham to see the new �17.5m Maternity Unit at Newham University Hospital.

He toured the centre’s antenatal and state-of-the-art, inpatient departments with staff including Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Hilary Shanahan and Head of Midwifery, Scott Johnston.

Dr Daniel Poulter said: “As an obstetrics doctor myself, I know just how important it is that we do all we can to provide the best care possible for new mums.

“We are already delivering on our pledge to give more support to women who need it most, providing one-to-one care during pregnancy and labour and providing more choice on where and how women give birth.

“The new facilities at Newham University Hospital are a great example of what can be achieved and I have been very impressed today by how hard the staff are working to deliver an excellent standard of care for their patients. Many of the new mums that I spoke to it said that it was a homely and comfortable place to give birth.”

The new larger building provides maternity care for women throughout the borough of Newham which has the highest birth rate and one of the youngest populations in the UK.

The improved facilities were urgently needed to replace the former outdated and overstretched accommodation that was no longer fit for purpose. In 2007 the hospital delivered nearly 5,500 babies a year but faced with a rapidly growing population, this number is predicted to rise to nearly 6,700 a year by 2017.

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Matron of Maternity Inpatients, Marsha Jones said: “Our aim is for Newham to be at the leading edge in the provision of maternity care for women with complex health needs.

“The new Maternity Unit allows us to provide high quality clinical care, consistent with national guidelines and increasingly capable of meeting the complex medical and social needs of the local community.

“We want to provide a ‘home away from home’ experience for mothers, their babies and their partners with privacy and dignity for every woman”.