Walsall’s Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU), which has now been relocated inside the Manor Hospital, is set to re-open on Monday 19 February as part of an ongoing £1.6m Maternity Services makeover.
The MLU was previously a standalone site and feedback shared with Walsall’s Maternity and Neonatal Voices Partnership (MNVP), as well as via a survey in partnership with the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), showed that families would prefer an onsite centre.
Moving the MLU next to the hospital’s Maternity Unit means that more birth choices can be offered to a greater number of women. Within the previous unit, only low-risk women – with strict criteria – were able to use the service. These criteria can now be expanded and mean 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.
The Maternity Services refurbishment also includes the relocation of the bereavement suite to create an enhanced environment for parents who have suffered a loss. This will be opening in the spring.
Rickell Bailey, MLU Manager at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We can’t wait to open our newly relocated MLU and welcome families from across our communities and beyond.
“The unit still provides that “home from home” environment but we are so happy that we’ve been able to expand our offer and know our families are going to love the new feature.”
The MLU offers:
- One to one care in labour
- Three birth pool rooms with en-suites
- Breastfeeding support
- Parent education
- Reflexology (coming soon)
- Calming atmosphere with LED lighting
- Swift discharge directly from the MLU
- Refreshment area with seating
“Partners are welcome to stay with open visiting,” Rickell added. “We’ve really listened to and engaged with those who have used or want to use the MLU and our MNVP has been extremely supportive too, so their involvement has helped us to enhance the service we offer.”
Families who took part in a survey prior to the relocation cited a number of reasons they believed it should be moved including parking issues and the peace of mind of being within the hospital in case of an emergency.
Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health at Walsall Healthcare, Jo Wright, said: “This is an exciting time for the women of Walsall who will have more choice in where they birth and can experience the birth of their baby in a lovely tailor-made environment. “
The current emergency Maternity entrance is also being transformed into the new main entrance for Maternity Services as part of this work.