East Surrey Hospital welcomes back its maternity unit's first mother and baby (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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East Surrey Hospital welcomes back its maternity unit's first mother and baby
9:00am Sunday 1st September 2013 in Local News
Staff at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill welcomed back the very first mum to have a baby there almost 22 years ago for a milestone occasion.
Jill Rainford of Redhill, who had her daughter Katy in September 1991, just a few hours after the hospital's maternity department first opened its doors, returned to perform the ribbon-cutting honours at the opening of its new Birthing Unit.
Katy joined her for the proud moment.
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, launched the search for their first mum in local newspapers recently, and Jill got in touch after spotting the story.
The official opening last Thursday (August 29) was a chance for the mum-of-four to see the transformation maternity facilities have undergone in the last two decades. Some £400,000 has been spent creating the relaxing and homely birthing unit. It has four en-suite rooms with birthing pools, soft lighting and walls covered in calming photos of woodlands and flowers for mums-to-be and their partners.
The funding awarded to the Trust for the unit was part of a £25 million investment programme from the Department of Health for maternity facilities, and was the largest amount given to any hospital in the area.
Maternity chief nurse Michelle Cudjoe, said: “Mums told us they wanted a more homely environment and more birthing pools, so this is what we did.
“We now have four birth pools and the number of women now having water births has risen from four to 11%.”
Michael Wilson, the Trust's chief executive officer, said: “Last year we delivered nearly 4,500 babies, making ours one of the busiest maternity units in the area.
“The Birthing Unit is proving very popular with expectant mums, and I know why - it resembles more of a hotel than a hospital ward.”
A Trust spokeswoman said the Trust's maternity unit delivers nearly 4,500 babies each year via the Delivery Suite, midwifery-led Birthing Unit or home birth, with its dedicated team of home birth midwives. She added: “Currently 25% of births are delivered in the Birthing Unit.”