STRUCTURE: A new birthing pool will be one of the main improvements being made to the Worthing Hospital Delivery Suite.

Within the next two months £350,000 will be spent upgrading the unit, including:

  • installing a second birthing pool
  • seating for a new breastfeeding room
  • new showers
  • and a redesigned labour ward to give more privacy to mums and more welcoming facilities for partners
  • a room will also be refurbished for women wanting a more ‘active’ (upright) labour

The existing birthing pool is used by about 350 women in labour a year, with just over 200 of them actually giving birth in the water. Feedback received by the trust suggests that many more women would like the chance to have a water birth, and so the second pool is likely to be well used.

The work should be able to start within days, following news that the Department of Health had approved the trust’s bid for the money, and is expected to be complete by the end of March.

The changes will benefit approximately 3,000 families a year having their babies at Worthing.

Carole Garrick, head of midwifery at the trust, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding, and we intend to start work to make these improvements straight away.”