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Southend midwives celebrate cash boost to expand service

28 January 2013

Health Care

Midwives at Southend University Hospital are celebrating a £88.5k award which will give greater choice to pregnant women

The cash handout, which comes from the Department of Health's £25m fund to improve birthing environments, follows Southend's successful bid for a share at the end of last year.

The money is being used to create a maternity triage service on the hospital's central delivery suite to ensure the right care is given in the right place at the right time.

Sharon Murrell, acting head of midwifery and gynaecology, said: "In essence, women in the early stages of labour will be seen by a highly-experienced midwife who will take a detailed obstetric, medical and family history and then discuss the most appropriate place for the woman to give birth. This might be at home, in the midwifery-led unit or in our obstetric unit.

"Birth is a natural physiological process and we believe that this new triage service will encourage more women to opt for a natural birth, where appropriate.

"We see a lot of women who are anxious and unsure if they had started labour. The new development will mean each of them will be given a thorough and professional assessment to ensure they receive the most appropriate care in the best environment for them."

The award will also enable the maternity unit to improve its service for women experiencing early pregnancy problems by creating special areas for scans, examinations and counselling to consolidate care on the gynaecology ward.

Mrs Murrell added: "Safety is at the heart of everything we do and this additional money really will give a boost to our maternity services."