A BIRTHING unit in Petersfield has been awarded a slice of £25m to improve its service.
Grange Maternity Centre has been given £26,000 from the Department of Health, which will be used to buy a new birthing pool.
It comes as Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs the Petersfield unit – is in the second year of a major transformation programme for maternity services.
The nurture scheme aims to provide one-to-one care in labour, providing normality and out-of-hospital birthing options for parents-to-be.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: ‘A new arrival in the family is a joyous time but it can present a real challenge for mums and families, particularly those experiencing it for the first time.
‘We are now going to see huge improvements to maternity services right across the country – from birthing pools to family rooms and even new midwifery-led units.
‘These will make a big difference to the experience mums and families have of NHS maternity services, with more choice and a better environment where women can give birth.
‘Maternity units have had to show evidence that they asked mums and dads about what changes they need to make, so we know these are the changes people really want to see.’
In November, the government invited NHS trusts to apply for funding. Bids were judged by a panel, which included health specialists.