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New Maternity Midwife Led Unit for Lagan Valley - McGimpsey

Friday, 1 October 2010

Women in Lisburn and surrounding areas are to benefit from a new community midwifery led unit to be situated at the Lagan Valley Hospital site.

The newly refurbished unit, which will open on Wednesday 2nd February, 2011, will be modelled on the Home from Home unit at the Ulster Maternity and each of the four rooms will have its own en suite facilities and birthing pool.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: “On the 18 March 2009, I announced that consultant-led maternity services would be transferred away from Lagan Valley Hospital to be replaced by a midwife led unit.

“This will be the second stand-alone midwife unit to open in Northern Ireland. I envisage that this facility will provide women with maternity services that are safe, provide high quality care and offer real choice in the range of care available.

“The transfer from a consultant led inpatient service to the midwifery led service has been planned for some time. It’s estimated that the vast majority of the 1,200 women each year who give birth at Lagan Valley, which deals with low risk births, will be suitable to deliver in the new unit.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Midwifery Led Unit is designed for women who have no problems with their pregnancy, and are assessed as low risk. Women are cared for by midwives who will have looked after them during their ante-natal period. They will be admitted into a fully equipped room where they will stay throughout labour, delivery and their post natal recovery. Recovery is normally short as this is normal labour and women are often keen to return home as soon as possible. The rooms have en suite facilities each with a full size birthing pool and the latest aids to help women through out their labour.

2. The decor is relaxed and pleasant and women may consider bringing music and comfort articles to create their own ambience. Resuscitation equipment is built into the rooms but discreetly hidden behind panelled doors.

3. Currently, 1,200 women give birth at Lagan Valley each year and these are low risk births. The majority of these women will be eligible for the new MLU but some will choose to deliver at the Ulster Maternity, Royal Jubilee Maternity or Craigavon. The new unit will cater for 500 births a year.

4. Media enquiries to the DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0505, or out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.