Whittington hospital set for £20m baby boom

The Whittington Hospital in Archway has taken a step closer to seeing a big investment made in its m

The Whittington Hospital in Archway has taken a step closer to seeing a big investment made in its maternity ward - Credit: Archant

A £20million project set to bring a new baby boom to the maternity wards of the Whittington Hospital has taken a step closer after funding received initial approval from the Department of Health.

Whittington Health, the trust in charge of the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, was given the green light from the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) to take forward the major investment – a project billed as keeping the Whittington as “a major maternity centre of the future”.

On completion, it will see capacity increased from 4,000 to 4,700 babies delivered a year, making it one of the largest birthing centres in north London – second to Homerton Hospital in Hackney.

Chief executive Simon Pleydell welcomed the development as “excellent news”.

He said: “Our maternity and neonatal services are an integral part of our services and this investment will enable us to be a major maternity centre of the future.

“This demonstrates confidence in our services and the high quality care we already provide to women.

“We consistently receive positive feedback. Having a better environment will support us to give women, children and their families the best experience possible. We are delighted the TDA has given us approval to take the next step in this exciting project.”

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The trust will now begin working on a full business case for the project, which looks to secure a £10 million investment towards the £20 million total cost. The other £10 million is funded through Whittington Health’s own capital expenditure.

The investment will bring new ­neonatal intensive care and high dependency care units, a second obstetric theatre and a refurbished labour ward. Five new en-suite labour rooms will also offer “additional comfort and improved privacy” for women, as well as increasing the capacity.

The project will complement the hospital’s modern birthing centre, which offers en-suite rooms to low risk mothers. The majority of these rooms have a birthing pool.

Two new lifts and a staircase are expected to be completed by the end of the year.