The government has said more than 60 maternity services will get a slice of £10m worth of funding earmarked for improving care for women and their babies.
The money was first announced by the government in January, when trusts were invited to bid for some of it.
The £10m funding builds on a previous £25m maternity capital investment programme set up last year, which has funded improvements to 100 birthing units.
It is intended to help pay for new equipment and more homely environments for expectant mothers before, during and after birth, health minister Dr Dan Poulter said yesterday at Kingston Hospital when he announced the trusts that would be benefiting from the fund.
A total of 63 trusts across the country are being allocated a slice of the money, which will also be used to provide women with greater choice on where they give birth.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust is one of those set to benefit. The money will help to pay for a “complex needs suite” alongside the existing maternity unit.
It will include en-suite family-friendly facilities and aim to provide a constant environment for women whose birth experience is affected by complex social or medical needs.
Also in the north west of England, Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust will use the money to help pay for an extra Labour Delivery Recovery and Postnatal room with an in-built birthing pool at North Manchester General Hospital.
Across the Pennines at Harrogate and District Foundation Trust, the funding will be used to contribute netowards a delivery suite and new wet room/bathroom.
Portsmouth Hospitals Trust will benefit through investment in equipment such as reclining chairs to help women give birth in a more upright position. It will also improve facilities for partners and families at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust will use the funding to update the midwifery-led birthing facilities and a low obstetric risk postnatal area at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
As part of the project, the trust will refurbish 11 birthing rooms with en-suite bathrooms on a Midwife-led Unit and 12 postnatal rooms with en-suite bathrooms on a postnatal ward.
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This £10m fund is very welcome.
“Last year, the first tranche of funding made a big difference to our maternity units and mothers, babies and families are experiencing better facilities. I look forward to seeing more units reap the benefits of securing a grant.”