We have received NHS funding to begin improvements, which will help us take a big step towards improving care for women giving birth and newborn babies who need to stay in hospital for specialist care. Funds raised through The Cornwall Birth and Baby Appeal will mean we can supplement the NHS investment and provide equipment that will enhance the maternity and neonatal areas to give parents and babies in Cornwall the very best start on their incredible journey.
At the Royal Cornwall Hospital, we are only able to offer births in a consultant-led unit. Not only is this busy unit a little tired, but it is not ideal for women having a low-risk birth, because it can increase the likelihood of medical intervention. We want to be able to provide women with more choices about where and how they give birth so they can access the care they want in a calm environment, regardless of whether they are having a low or a higher risk birth.
With roughly 10-12% of all newborns requiring special care, the increase in birth rates also means we have many more babies who need to spend some time in the neonatal unit.
Our current neonatal unit is severely lacking in space and facilities, and this can make visiting poorly and premature babies more stressful and difficult than it should be. This also has a real impact on our ability to provide space for the necessary equipment to care for their intensive and complex needs, whilst maintaining a family-friendly environment.
What’s more, our Neonatal Unit is the only one in Cornwall, and means that parents and families have to travel further to visit their babies than anywhere else in the United Kingdom.
Full refurbishment of the Postnatal Ward, giving it a fresh and modern look and increasing space for partners to stay overnight.
Larger premises for the neonatal unit, allowing families to be at the heart of their baby’s care. Improvements will include:
Creation of a midwife-led birthing unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
It will allow families to stay at the hospital and visit more frequently and for longer, helping parents learn and gain confidence about looking after their new arrival much more quickly.
For babies, having their families so closely involved helps lower stress levels and promote better health, which then shortens hospital stays and reduces the likelihood of them being readmitted to hospital.