£15m expansion plan for maternity services

PUBLISHED: 10:55 02 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

MILLIONS of pounds will be pumped into maternity services to support pregnant women in the area. The boards of the East and North Herts NHS Trust and PCT approved a £15.45m expansion plan for Lister Hospital, at separate meetings. The investment will allo

MILLIONS of pounds will be pumped into maternity services to support pregnant women in the area.

The boards of the East and North Herts NHS Trust and PCT approved a £15.45m expansion plan for Lister Hospital, at separate meetings.

The investment will allow a two-storey expansion of the Lister's current unit, to enable it to support more than 5,500 births a year.

The maternity unit at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City will close in 2010 and the Trust's specialist staff will be brought together on a single site, providing women with options in how they give birth.

Women will continue to have their ante and post-natal care provided close to where they live, as they do now.

The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said the proposal was "early evidence" of the changes set out in last year's consultation, which will see major services centralised at Lister.

A final business case supporting the proposal will be presented to the East of England Strategic Health Authority before the end of the year.

If approved, building work is scheduled to start next spring and the new unit is set to open in late 2010.

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