Work is progressing well on Walsall’s relocated Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU) which is expected to be ready to open in the summer.
The relocation is part of a £1.6m Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Maternity Services refurbishment and follows feedback from families who have said they would like access to an onsite MLU. The refurbishment also includes the relocation of the bereavement suite to create an enhanced environment for parents who have suffered a loss.
Work started November 2022 and is taking place in two phases. Phase One is focusing on the MLU relocation and the transformation of the current emergency maternity entrance into the new main entrance for maternity services.
On Monday 17 April, work will start on linking the maternity postnatal wards to the new MLU and this is expected to take around five weeks.
Leanne O’Flaherty, Maternity Inpatient Matron, said: “We’re thrilled to be making these improvements within Maternity but the next five weeks will create some disruption for women using our services and we apologise in advance.
“The environment will be a little noisier than usual and we will be relocating the ward clerk desk. We will do all we can to minimise the disruption but we’d like to thank women and families for their patience and understanding as this vital element of the work takes place.”
If anyone on the postnatal ward wants any additional information or support because of the disruption they can speak to any member of staff, The Ward Manager or Matron.
Moving the MLU next to the hospital’s Maternity Unit will mean offering more birth choices to a greater number of women. Within the existing unit only low-risk women – with strict criteria – have been able to use the service. These criteria can now be expanded when the unit is co-located in a hospital setting.
The existing unit is currently 0.8miles away from the hospital. Being within the Maternity Unit means that women and babies who may have complications as their labour and birth progress have rapid access to staff who are able to support urgent care.