Margate birth unit to be delivered in months
A FLAGSHIP birthing centre will open in Margate in September.
The new midwife-led centre will be located in Thanet after a three-month NHS consultation on the future of maternity care in East Kent concluded.
The NHS will invest more than £700,000 a year in employing 30 midwives at Ashford and Margate to ensure one-to-one care for expectant mothers.
A consultant-led ward next door will offer easy access to emergency and neonatal intensive care.
To celebrate the opening of our new offices in Canterbury and Whitstable we are offering 50% off our standard selling fees on production of this voucher.
Terms: If you have instructed another agent on a sole agency and/or sale selling rights basis, the terms of those instructions must be considered to avoid possible liability to pay two commissions.
Contact: Whitstable 01227 208268
Valid until: Monday, September 30 2013
Ramsgate county councillor and Labour health spokeswoman Elizabeth Green campaigned for Thanet to retain its maternity services.
Mrs Green said: "I am delighted that this has now been given the go-ahead as this is desperately needed.
"We have, by far, a greater need of these facilities, as statistically we have a far larger number of births, including a number to young mothers.
"Mothers can now give birth in the less formal birthing unit, while having consultant-led facilities close at hand in case they are needed."
Dr Sarah Montgomery, an east Kent GP who chaired the Maternity Services Review Group, said: "People agreed we needed to change. They also agreed the Margate unit should open and that mothers like the choice of having a midwife-led unit near a consultant-led unit as they could enjoy the benefits of a natural, calm and home-like birth with the reassurance of rapid access to doctors if need be.
EKHFT's head of midwifery, Lindsey Stevens, added: "We are introducing a number of changes, including an improved helpline staffed by experienced midwives for women in the final stages of pregnancy and we plan to allow partners to stay for 24 hours on postnatal wards."
Other changes included improving postnatal care, support for mothers and antenatal education.