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Whitehaven’s Maternity unit successfully bid for an extra birthing pool

Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital midwives

[T]o mark tomorrow’s International Day of the Midwife (Saturday 5 May), West Cumberland Hospital’s Maternity unit is celebrating the funding of £8,000 to purchase a new birthing pool for the Delivery Suite.

The money has been awarded by Sellafield Charity ‘Snowball’ after a bid was submitted by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH) midwifery manager, Janet Riley in partnership with the Maternity Voices group. Once installed, the unit will have two pools for women to use at the hospital.

Janet said: “The birthing pool is incredibly popular, and we are fully committed to ensuring women’s wants and needs are met during labour at such an important and significant time in their lives. An additional pool will mean we’re better equipped to meet the needs of those wanting to labour in water, so more women can start to benefit from a beautiful birth.”

NHS England last week announced that the NHS has delivered a total of 50 million babies in almost 70 years. Babies born in the UK today could expect to live to well in to their eighties and one-in-three girls set to live past 100. That has risen from 66 for men and 71 for women when the NHS was founded in 1948 thanks, in large part, improvements in medical care.

Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, head of maternity, children & young people at NHS England, said: “The NHS was set up to deliver care from the cradle to the grave, and midwives are privileged to be part what is for most a special journey and precious moment in time.

“Midwifery is a uniquely rewarding profession and I’d like to thank the extraordinary people who have helped the NHS deliver an astonishing 50 million babies over the last 70 years. In the NHS today, women giving birth can expect to have a safer and more personalised maternity care experience.”

Ali Atkinson-Budd, associate director of midwifery, said: “Well done to the team for their successful bid, I know that an second pool at WCH will make a significant difference to women who give birth there. I’m immensely proud of our maternity team, who recently won a staff #YouDidIt award as part of the Trust’s reward and recognition scheme, and I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their continued hard work and care they display on a daily basis.”

NCUH has also been taking steps to recruit new midwifery staff in order to best secure the sustainability of the hospital’s maternity unit. The Trust has been attending jobs fairs all over the country, which has attracted numerous enquiries for vacancies within NCUH, and the team has plans for further specific targeting of new recruits.

Today, the North Cumbria branch of the Royal College of Midwives delivered cakes and fruits to both Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital maternity staff to say ‘thank you’for their hard work and commitment.

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