QE delivers new post natal ward

Posted on Thu, 15/08/2013

Maternity staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead are celebrating the safe arrival of a new post natal ward for mums and their babies.

Earlier this year, the unit was awarded more than £300,000 from the Government to upgrade its outdated post natal unit.

Now the unit has been completed and mums and visitors are getting to peek at more than just new babies. The new unit has increased the number of single en-suite rooms, making it possible for dads to stay over to get to know their new babies too.

And bays with three beds also have shower and toilet facilities in the rooms, so things are easier for mums to manage with their babies. There’s also a new day room where older brothers and sister can join in the excitement of their new sibling.

Jo Crawford, matron for the maternity unit, said: “We were really pleased to receive this funding – the largest amount in the North East. But what was more important was that we really took the time to listen to our mums about what mattered to them and what they wanted to do. The post natal ward is a really important time for new families – it’s where the first bonding with the new arrival happens, it’s crucial for mum’s recovery and most importantly it’s that first opportunity to show off the baby to visitors!

“We’re delighted with the new look unit and hope our mums and new arrivals will agree too. We’ve now got a state-of-the-art delivery unit supported by a modernised post natal ward that’s been designed around the needs of families.”

New parents 28-year-old Karen and 30-year-old Chris Lane chose to have their son Joseph Christopher James Lane delivered at the QE. Karen gave birth to Joseph on the 12th August and was the first new mum to stay on the fully completed ward.

Karen said: “We’d read up about the unit on the internet, and the attention to detail made it much more attractive than other maternity units in the region. We only decided quite late on where we were going to have the baby delivered, so we were worried about the planning aspect of the birth. But when we came for a tour we were offered the use of everything on the unit, from the birthing pool, to the birthing balls etc. I also didn’t feel overwhelmed as the unit was a good size but not too big, it was cosy and everyone was so friendly and welcoming.”

Dad Chris said: “For a normal birth, the QE would always be our first choice, there wasn’t another unit that had better facilities. The special beds for birthing partners also meant I was able to stay overnight with Karen which was important to both of us. There was also no pressure on Karen to pick any particular birthing method, it was all very relaxed which was good as we didn’t have the experience with this being our first child. The room was very comfortable for me to stay in, and it was nice for us to sit together, it didn’t feel like being in hospital.”

Karen added: “The ward looks so fresh, and it looks really clean without being clinical, and although it sounds stupid, things like the curtains matching and looking smart matters! It looks polished but homely. It was also great to have my own bathroom in the room I was in, which was important for me at a time when I was feeling at my most vulnerable. I never felt rushed to do anything; the staff always had time for me.”

The refurbishment was delivered by Miller Construction which is currently building the QE’s new £32m Emergency Care Centre and £12m flagship pathology unit. Ian Jubb, Managing Director North, Miller Construction added: “We are delighted to have delivered the new post natal ward for the maternity unit staff and the people of Gateshead. Through our on-going work on the new Emergency Care Centre and pathology unit we continue to build on our strong partnership with the hospital to deliver first class care facilities for the region.”

The QE maternity unit is one of the top 15 safest units in the country to have a baby and prides itself on its high quality standards and tailored care for mums and babies.

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