KIRKCALDY’S bright and shiny new maternity unit at Victoria Hospital is looking forward to welcoming its first new arrival early next year.
The 26 LDRP (labour, delivery, recovery and post natal) bedrooms and four observation beds are all prepared and just waiting for the furniture to be added before welcoming the first mums-to-be from January 9.
And, whether they are booked in to deliver in the midwife-led unit or the obstetric unit for those who may require some medical intervention, they will be doing so in relaxed and comforting rooms which are equipped with many additional little touches to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
The delivery rooms are decorated to look as homely as possible, with en-suite bath and shower facilities in each room; concealed medical equipment; plenty of rails for birthing women to hold on to during contractions; piped gas and air in each room and bathroom; two birthing pool suites with state-of-the art pools; and birthing poles in each room.
And upstairs in the maternity ward there are another two four-bedded rooms and 16 single rooms where mums and babies are moved after delivery and before they go home – which can be as soon as six hours after delivery.
As well as planning the best layout and strategy for delivering healthy babies, a lot of care and compassion has gone into preparing for outcomes which may not be quite so happy.
There is a dedicated maternity theatre for emergency operations, with another available if required and three resuscitation rooms for babies, as well as a fully equipped baby intensive care suite, a high dependency unit and another for growing babies who have overcome difficulties and are recovering.
Still births and neo-natal deaths, although becoming rarer do still happen, and again the hospital is prepared for all eventualities.
The majority of the rooms are suitable for families to remain together with their babies for as long as they need, and there is a new Butterfly Room – an improved version of the room in Forth Park Hospital which was set up by the Stillbirth and Neo-natal Death Society (SANDS) to allow families to spend time alone with their babies.
In the new wing the room is fully temperature controlled with soft uplighting, carpetting, a sofa bed and other home furnishings.
All mothers and babies will maintain close links with the maternity unit, returning for various health checks such as cardiac and respiratory in the weeks and months after their birth.
“We are absolutely delighted with the whole new wing, and particularly the maternity unit,” said Cath Cummings, nursing and midwifery manager with NHS Fife.
“Staff have had a lot of input into the whole department and we are very pleased with the way it has turned out.
“There will be a few niggles to get ironed out along the way, but we are confident that women giving birth in this hospital will have the best services available.”