Kettering General Hospital is putting the finishing touches to £5 million of improvement and refurbishment work to its maternity wing.
The improvements relate to a series of projects, which have been funded by the trust and through some national grants, and have taken place over the past year.
These include completion this month of a £4.4m maternity theatres project which includes two new state-of-the-art theatres and a recovery area.
A £200,000 upgrade of bathrooms and showers in Rockingham Wing is due to be completed soon, providing en-suite bathrooms in its labour suite and on Rowan Ward supported by funding from the Department of Health’s Improving Maternity Care Settings Fund.
A £200,000 secure maternity records system which is accessed by laptop computers by hospital and community midwives has been set up with funding from the national Nursing Technology Fund.
There has also been £350,000 worth of associated improvement work and new equipment, which has been put in place across the maternity unit including new flooring, new workstations, and a new bedside call system throughout.
A second water birthing pool has also been installed and is in use.
Head of midwifery and nursing Eilish Crowson said: “We are now putting the finishing touches to a year’s worth of improvements to our maternity unit which have made a real difference to the care we provide.
“The most obvious one is the huge new state-of-the-art maternity theatres building which has been built in front of Rockingham Wing.
“Our two new theatres, recovery area and new anaesthetic and monitoring equipment, are a vast improvement on the smaller and less hi-tech theatres they replaced.”
Lead theatre nurse Louise Dye, who co-ordinated the theatre project, said: “The new theatres will enable us to better support the 3,800 births and 2,000 gynaecological and obstetric theatre procedures we deliver each year.
“They have been completed to a very high standard and will enable us to improve the care experience for patients undergoing procedures.”
Eilish said: “The refurbishment of our bathrooms, toilets, maternity ward, water birth suite, two-ensuite rooms in the delivery suite, and new bedside call system are now virtually complete.
“The finishing touches are a refurbishment of bathrooms and toilets on Rowan ward by the end of March.
“Overall this work has been a major improvement and a real boost to families using the Wing with much more modern facilities and improved privacy.
“We have also established a secure maternity records system that enables us to enter and update information on a mother’s care throughout her stay in hospital, and at home, by the use of secure laptop computers.”
Lead midwives Polly Leigh and Mara Tonks have been involved in overseeing the improvements, which have caused a certain amount of disruption to normal working.
Mara said: “We are incredibly proud of the maternity and theatre teams who have worked through many changes over the last 12 months.
“The teams have maintained excellent high standards of care despite the disruption caused by the ongoing building works.
“Our teams are thrilled to have had this significant investment to support their services. It’s already making a real difference both to the patient experience and to staff morale.”