In 2017, funding from Barts Charity enabled the refurbishment of the current Whipps Cross maternity building and to make improvements to our services. The funding enabled us to redesign many parts of the building, including the special care baby unit, midwife-led birthing unit, and neonatal unit.
Our vision is to build on these strong foundations and the recent CQC inspection to provide a maternity department in the new hospital which is naturally lit, welcoming, and provides a comfortable and homely environment for parents, families, and staff.
The views of parents and staff have been central to our plans for how maternity services will be reprovided and enhanced in the new hospital. Our designs are a collaboration between the architect-led design team and the maternity service user group, which consisted of previous service users, the maternity mothers’ group, and staff including both obstetricians and midwives.
Working together, the group concluded that flexibility, choice, and ensuring the right support is given to parents must be central to the new department.
Drawing on these key themes we will ensure that in the new hospital we continue to provide parents with choice and the right support to take control of their births, whether that is through delivery at home, in the community, or in the maternity unit at Whipps Cross hospital.
For those choosing or needing to give birth at the hospital there will be greater flexibility of birthing options with more space for birthing parents to have their baby and recover. Following labour, birthing partners will remain in single rooms throughout their hospital stay, maximising their opportunity for rest and time alone with their baby.
Located on the fourth floor of the new hospital, with views across the surrounding area, the department will be easily and quickly accessible from the ground floor via a designated lift. For parents visiting the hospital for post-natal appointments, this will be located on the 1st floor of the new hospital within the new Outpatients Department.