A new labour ward for west Wales has opened its doors ready to welcome babies into the world.
The new unit at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen forms part of a £25.2m Welsh Government investment announced in 2018 by the previous Health Minister. The new development has created a new obstetric and neonatal facilities at the hospital.
This is the second major development in the scheme following the opening of a new special care baby unit earlier this year.
The state-of-the-art unit, which has been purpose built with the focus being on the baby and their family, and the midwifery team, includes five standard birthing rooms with en-suite, one birthing room with a fixed pool and one birthing room equipped to deal with multiple or complex births. There is also six bedded Enhanced Monitoring Unit.
The health board say the clinical space meets national guidance which respects family privacy and dignity.
They add that the clinical area and the staff facilities will improve the working environment for the midwifery team and will be beneficial to their wellbeing. The new facilities include an appropriate area for teaching and multi-disciplinary working; which is due to be available once the Theatres work has been completed.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “It’s fantastic to see Welsh Government funding being used to create this modern labour ward which will provide important care.
“The ward will very much benefit both families who will use the service and staff who will deliver care in this state-of-the-art facilities.”
Steve Moore, Chief Executive, Hywel Dda University Health Board thanked all involved in the project: “It’s wonderful to see our new labour ward open for babies and their families.
“The improved facilities are part of our continued investment in women and children’s services and will provide a modern environment for babies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
“I wish to personally thank everyone involved in this project for their dedication and hard work over recent years. Thank you all.”
Lisa Humphrey, Interim General Manager for Women and Children’s Services, Hywel Dda University Health Board commented: “As project director I would like to thank all of the parents, staff and the contractors for their contribution to the delivery of this scheme.
“Having an up-to-date unit enhances the delivery of high-quality care that the team already provide in an environment that improves well-being for babies, their families and staff.”
Newly appointed Kathryn Greaves, Head of Midwifery, Hywel Dda University Health Board added: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at such and exciting time. The team who have worked so hard and shown real commitment to creating the optimum birthing environment for the women, birthing people and families.
“The impact on both maternity patients and staff is immeasurable and the joy on the faces of those who have been supporting the move into the new environment has been nothing short of uplifting for everyone.
“Creating the optimum birthing environment shows real investment in ensuring the best start in lives for our future generations and the safety and future proofing of our services to deliver high standards of care.”
The final stage in the project, which will see the opening of new theatres, is expected to be completed in 2023.
(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)
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