Midwifery-led unit opens its doors

The Trust’s new £1 million Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU) at Scarborough Hospital will welcome its first expectant mothers from Monday [1 February 2010]. The new purpose-designed unit is a low technology environment, supervised by midwives, offering low risk mothers and babies from across Scarborough, Whitby, Bridlington and Malton natural, home-style births.

Two of the unit’s three spacious rooms are equipped with a birthing pool, while all have en-suite facilities. Each room also includes natural birthing equipment, which has been sourced by Freya Oliver, acting head of midwifery at the Trust.

Freya explained: “We are delighted that the MLU is ready for business.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone the original opening date due to recruiting difficulties. However, staff have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to get the unit open and we are now in a position to begin a phased opening. We thrilled that from Monday this fantastic facility can welcome its first mothers.”

The opening of this unit is part of the IRP maternity review which will see midwifery-led deliveries transferred to Scarborough from Bridlington, Whitby and Malton hospitals.

Once the MLU is fully operational, there will be a period of overlap with Malton, Whitby and Bridlington hospitals to ensure a seamless transition of services.

The Malton, Whitby and Bridlington Community Midwifery Teams will still continue to offer women support locally, delivering antenatal and postnatal care as well as increased support for home deliveries.

Notes to Editors

• The new purpose-designed unit also houses the Scarborough Community Midwifery Team.

• The unit has three delivery rooms which have been called Ryedale, Abbey and Quays.

• Supervised by midwives, two of the unit’s three rooms, Abbey and Quays, will be equipped with a birthing pool.

• The unit which is located on the second floor of the hospital is situated in close proximity to the Trust’s main delivery ward – offering women the added reassurance rapid transfer for consultant support should any complications occur.

• Hafney (Hospital arts for North East Yorkshire) helped source the artwork for the unit which is by well known children’s artist Quentin Blake.

• To begin with the unit will open on a part time basis from Monday to Wednesday. The target date for the unit being fully operational is 1 April 2010.

• The delay in opening the unit has been due to difficulties in recruiting qualified midwives. This is a national problem which all Trusts have been facing