Ipswich: New look for hospital maternity unit unveiled by health minister Dr Dan Poulter

Dr Dan Poulter visits the Brook Maternity ward at Ipswich Hospital.
L-R Michelle Snelling with her

Dr Dan Poulter visits the Brook Maternity ward at Ipswich Hospital. L-R Michelle Snelling with her newborn Ivy Snelling, Dr Dan Poulter MP, Emma Hardwick. - Credit: Archant

Health minister and local MP Dr Dan Poulter has formally unveiled the refurbished maternity unit at Ipswich Hospital.

His department has spent £25 million on improving 100 maternity units across England – and Ipswich received more than £600,000.

Dr Poulter said he had noticed the maternity unit at Ipswich had been looking “tired” during Christmas visits to the wards since he became MP in 2010.

He said: “There are some fantastic staff here doing a great job – but as well as great staff you need the best possible conditions and I did feel it was looking rather tired.

“When I announced the money for improvements to maternity units I had Ipswich in mind and I am delighted we have been able to find a good chunk to invest in this unit.”

The money has been used to refurbish the delivery rooms adding more en suites and replacing toilets, basins, baths and showers with new ones.

Delivery rooms are now more welcoming with the addition of mood lighting to help relax women in labour and create a better ambience for them and their partners.

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The money has also provided 19 reclining chairs to make it more comfortable for antenatal women and the partners of women in labour.

Another 33 recliners have been added for breast feeding mothers and eleven chairs for women with a high body mass index.

Ipswich Hospital Trust delivers around 3,700 babies a year in the hospital and the community.

Dr Poulter – who worked as a hospital gynaecologist before being elected to parliament for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat – was shown one of the new delivery rooms and some of the other facilities.

He said: “This is part of the hospital where it is possible to give women and their families a really positive experience of the NHS. I am delighted to see it in action.

Emma Hardwick Head of Midwifery and Clinical Services said “It is well documented that the environment in which a woman labours can have a great effect on the birth outcome and experience.

“The project also supports the comfort for fathers and is in line with national recommendations for involving fathers in maternity care.”