STRUCTURE: Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust has announced it will spend £690,000 upgrading a birthing unit, as a wider review of maternity services in the local area takes place.

The trust has announced that the delivery suite at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester will be improved, including the addition of two new “midwifery led” rooms, including a birthing pool. They join two existing rooms with similar facilities.

The rooms, which the unit will now have four of, are intended to provide more comfortable home-like surroundings for low-risk births.

The trust is preparing to integrate with Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust, which will provide maternity services across three hospitals in Winchester, Andover and Basingstoke.

A Winchester and Eastleigh press release said an inpatient service in Andover, run by Winchester and Eastleigh, is under review.

It said: “The centre has been underused for births for many years but is very popular for ante and post natal services, attracting around 140 women every week.  These services will continue whatever the outcome of the consultation.”