Work starts on project to upgrade birth facilities at Princess Anne Hospital
A scheme which will improve the birth environment for women who choose to have their baby at Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital is under way.
The six-month building project, expected to continue until December, will result in two new en-suite birthing rooms and a larger recovery area for women who have elective caesarean sections.
There will also be a general upgrade of existing labour ward facilities at the busy maternity hospital, which was the setting for the first two series of Channel 4’s award-winning documentary One Born Every Minute.
The project follows a successful bid for government cash to improve the birth environment.
Although not awarded the full amount needed to overhaul the entire induction area, UHS, which runs the Princess Anne, succeeded in receiving £370,000, which the Trust then matched.
Julia Clark, midwifery matron, said: “We are delighted to have succeeded in this bid for funding to help us provide much-needed improved facilities for women and their babies.
“Our team will do all we can to minimise disruption for families while this work is going on and, for their own comfort, will be sending women who have had straightforward births home as soon as possible.”
The additional facilities are needed because of a rising birth rate across the Southampton maternity services area.
Last year, a total of 6,301 babies were born across the Southampton area, compared to 5,977 in 2008 - an increase of around 5.4%.
The improvement scheme is taking place on D level of the Princess Anne Hospital.
During the building work, some women being induced – typically around six a day – may be cared for on E level of the hospital until they are in established labour.