A celebratory mood was in the air as the Bishop of Wakefield cut the ribbon to rename the birth unit at Pontefract hospital.
The Bishop was the guest of honour as hospital staff and recent mothers gathered to celebrate six years of operation of the midwife led birth centre. In that time over 1200 babies have been born at the birth centre.
The Bishop enjoyed the celebrations and was shown the modern facilities of the unit during his tour of the centre at Pontefract Hospital and met with maternity staff, consultants and recent mothers.
The Right Reverend Tony Robinson, The Bishop of Wakefield, said: “It was a great joy for me to rename the birth unit at Pontefract Hospital. I was very impressed by the dedication of the staff and the wonderful facilities provided for the parents. It was also good to meet two of the mothers who had recently given birth in the unit. I am sure this unit will be well used and much appreciated by local people.“
The renaming of the midwife led unit to the Friarwood Birth Centre was the unanimous choice from an open poll conducted with maternity staff and recent service users. The idea to rename the birth centre was to better reflect the particular environment of a midwife led birth unit in comparison to a traditional labour ward.
The Friarwood birth centre has four rooms, one of which has a large birthing pool that mothers can use for labour and birth. The unit promotes a family centred, individual focus to care, where partners and families are active participants in birth and can stay with expectant mothers throughout labour and after the birth.
Caitlin Wilson, Consultant Midwife at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are very pleased to be celebrating 6 years of a successful birth centre at Pontefract. The Birth Centre provides women in the local area with a cosy, home from home environment which supports normal birth in a safe and supportive environment. Our service users have reported overall a positive experience when using the Birth centre at Pontefract.”
The renaming of the midwife led unit fits into the new service offer at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS trust with new multi-million pound units soon to open at Dewsbury and Pinderfields hospitals. This is part of the hospital reconfiguration that will provide safe and accessible maternity services for all local residents across the area.
The new name is of historical significance due to the old Friary, which Friarwood Lane is also named after. All three birth centres have been named with historical significance to the local area.