Bolton midwives will also be delivering their maternity services from a fully refurbished and modern freestanding midwifery-led maternity unit in Salford later this year, the only one of its kind in Greater Manchester.
Salford Birth Centre, which currently operates from Salford Royal Hospital, will close at the end of September as part of wider plans for the hospital to develop its stroke and high-risk surgery facilities.
Ingleside, a former residential home in Swinton, was chosen to be the new home of maternity services in Salford. The building is owned by Salford City Council and will be refurbished by them over the coming months with the help of a crowdfunding appeal.
A tender process by NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) saw Bolton NHS Foundation Trust selected to provide these services.
The unit will offer women in Bolton, Salford and Wigan greater choice in where to give birth, which now includes a home from home environment for women who have been identified as having a low-risk pregnancy and are not expected to require support from an obstetric doctor.
The unit will have four birthing suites each with a birthing pool, and will be staffed by fully qualified midwives. The team will be led by Consultant Midwife, Catherine Owens who specialises in normal birth and provides professional advice and support for women, families and staff. Catherine is also responsible for providing expert clinical practice and leadership within maternity services.
Specialist mood lighting, high definition projectors displaying natural images and sounds and the facility to play your own music are just some of the features that will create a positive and relaxing birthing environment for those women who do not wish to give birth in hospital.
Once the freestanding maternity unit opens later this year the centre will become a community hub to women and their families for the whole area, offering antenatal and postnatal clinics and classes, sessions on hypnobirthing, infant feeding support and a range of complementary therapies.
Nicky Etchells, Acting Head of Midwifery at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said;
“We’re delighted to have been appointed to provide these services in Salford, and look forward to extending our midwifery services further into the Salford community.”
The maternity team at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have been providing maternity care in the Salford area for a number of years, and once Ingleside opens later this year, will provide women in this area with the ability to access a full range of maternity services. The Trust will be the only one in Greater Manchester to provide these options, which includes having their baby at home, at the freestanding maternity unit, or accessing one of the maternity suites at the Royal Bolton Hospital. This will depend on the level of support and clinical care required to facilitate a safe and positive birthing experience.
Catherine Owens, Consultant Midwife and lead for the new service added;
“Where a woman chooses to have her baby is so important to her and her family. As a Pioneer site for Better Births, a national programme that facilitates improved choices for women during pregnancy, we can now exclusively offer women wider choice and improved birthing facilities within Greater Manchester.
“We want women and the local community to be at the centre of this new and exciting development.”
The FMU will be available for women to give birth 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The centre will be open to the community between 8.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday and run midwife led clinics, classes and community groups.