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Maternity unit at Royal Free Hospital to have major upgrade

PUBLISHED: 13:42 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:42 18 February 2013

Royal Free Hospital

Royal Free Hospital

Nigel Sutton

The maternity unit of the Royal Free is to have a major upgrade, which will include making the ward more "homely" and providing a space for partners to stay overnight.

The £250,000 of government funding will be used to create a ‘home from home’ in the birth centre with overnight services in the days before and after the birth allowing fathers to bond with their babies.

Mai Buckley, director of midwifery and gynaecological nursing at the Royal Free said:

“The changes will create a homely environment that the users of maternity services often highlight as being of great importance to them.”

She added: “ Providing facilities for partners to stay overnight will mean that mothers can have their loved ones close by and also potentially bring other benefits, such as shortening length of stay in hospital, easing the

transition home and preventing readmission to hospital through the support and involvement of their partner in the care of the newborn baby.”

The new facilities will be in line with national recommendations for involving fathers in maternity care that came from the Royal College of Midwives in 2011.

The money will also pay for a new birth centre and labour equipment such as new beds.

The bath and shower rooms will also be refurbished.

Over 100 hospitals across the country who made successful bids for the money were awarded a portion of the £25million fund from the Department of Health.

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