Green light for �16.4 million maternity unit at Lister in Stevenage

WORK on a �16.4 million maternity unit at Lister Hospital in Stevenage will start immediately, after the green light for the project was given today (Tuesday). The facility, which will open in late 2011, will give pregnant women in Comet country more choi

WORK on a �16.4 million maternity unit at Lister Hospital in Stevenage will start immediately, after the green light for the project was given today (Tuesday).

The facility, which will open in late 2011, will give pregnant women in Comet country more choice over how they give birth to their babies.

The business case, which was approved by NHS East of England today, comprises a two-storey expansion of Lister's current maternity and neonatal unit, and refurbishment of existing facilities.

The unit will be able to support over 5,500 births every year, and the inpatient birthing service at the QEII in Welwyn Garden City will transfer to the Stevenage site.

Most women will be cared for in a midwife-led unit, with a consultant-led service next door, should complications arise. The new unit will also have water birth facilities and, where it is safe to do so, some mothers may choose to have a home birth.

Facilities for partners to stay with those mothers who go into early labour will also be provided.

Most Read

Nick Carver, chief executive of The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, said: "When completed, we will have a maternity unit that will rival the facilities of the best in the country."

The unit will be designed with future expansion in mind, taking into account the predicted population and service demand growth, which has been calculated at 2.46 per cent per year.

Preparatory works at the site are expected to be completed by September 7. When construction then begins, the staff and public parking area in front of the existing maternity building will form part of the construction site.

New car parking arrangements will be clearly signposted, as will changes to the current pedestrian access route.