£660,000 tonic for baby care
AN EXPANSION project costing £660,000 will see the Lister hospital in Stevenage become the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust s centre for neonatal intensive care. By expanding its existing neonatal unit to accommodate an extra 28 cots, women with mor
AN EXPANSION project costing £660,000 will see the Lister hospital in Stevenage become the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's centre for neonatal intensive care.
By expanding its existing neonatal unit to accommodate an extra 28 cots, women with more complex pregnancies will give birth at the Lister from December 2006.
The changes are in line with recommendations made by the Better Care for Sick Children public consultation that concluded in March 2005.
While the building work is carried out, the majority of neonatal intensive care will be provided at the QEII hospital for approximately eight weeks.
During this period only women from the Trust's catchment area will be able to give birth at the QEII and Lister hospitals to ensure disruption to the service is kept to a minimum.
The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said: "While we appreciate that having to travel further may be a worry, the Trust knows that it can provide an improved service overall following these changes.
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"The Better Care for Sick Children consultation was all about making improvements to the quality of children's emergency hospital services and had nothing to do with saving money. "
The permanent changes will affect less than 10 per cent of patients and the situation will be explained by their midwife or obstetrician.
Women whose babies are not expected to need neonatal intensive care will still be able to have their babies at the QEII.
All antenatal, postnatal and community midwifery services will continue in their current form.