A NEW midwife-led birth centre is opening in the region as part of a £3.6m investment in maternity care.
The seven-bed centre at Bradford Royal Infirmary, which will open its doors on November 26, will deal with women with low-risk pregnancies.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has spent £1.2m on the centre and a full refurbishment of a nearby 13-bed labour ward covered by specialist doctors which is only the second in the region to be located near a midwife-led unit.
Hospital chiefs have also invested £400,000 in boosting staffing levels with the appointment of 31 new midwives and six midwife support workers.
A further £2m will be spent on an expansion of the hospital’s neonatal unit dealing with the sickest babies.
Head of midwifery, Julie Walker, said: “We’ve been working towards the new Bradford Birth Centre for the last five years and our emphasis is very much on normality during birth and the provision of excellent support to women from our dedicated team of midwives.
“Our recent investment in new staff will ensure that midwives are freed up to spend more time giving support to mothers which is what women are telling us that they want. It’s an exciting time to have a baby in Bradford.”
Midwives worked closely with the Bradford and Airedale maternity services liaison committee, which includes women who have given birth at the unit to ensure that the design and decor were appropriate.
Clinical lead for obstetrics and gynaecology Janet Wright said: “This will not only ensure that we are putting quality and safety at the top of our agenda but that we are offering women across the district a great choice of where to have their babies.”