• 19 February 2018

South Lakes Birth Centre opens its doors

The new £12m South Lakes Birth Centre at the Furness General Hospital (FGH) site in Barrow opened its doors on Valentine’s Day, 14th February.

The grand opening ceremony was attended by guests, VIP’s, Councilors, MPs and a number of healthcare professionals. MP John Woodcock and Dr Bill Kirkup jointly unveiled a special commemorative wall plaque to mark the opening of the unit.

The new 2,553m2 centre comprises 14 ensuite-birthing rooms with facilities for partners to stay over. It has two dedicated operating theatres, a special care baby unit, a maternity assessment area, a transitional care facility, a skills lab for staff training, and a bereavement suite. The world-class centre provides an interactive classroom fitted with highly sophisticated technology including microphones, cameras and a training simulator that can simulate various birthing situations and complications to allow staff to keep their clinical skills and decision making up to date.

Waterman’s team has provided mechanical, electrical and acoustics consultancy services for the new centre which has been a collaborative initiative between the local communities and staff from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT). The hospital’s reputation has had a troubled past which is also why the initiative has carefully considered feedback from women and families who have used its maternity services and from those who intend to use them in future.

John Woodcock, Local MP, said in his speech: “We rallied the community and five years on here we are with this brilliant new unit, which is state-of-the-art and in which we can see an entirely different culture which resolutely puts safety first, and has made sure the cover ups and mistakes of the past will never be repeated. I’m so proud as the town’s MP but I’m also proud as a member of the community. We can look forward to what will be generations of Barrovians born here in this wonderful unit.”

Tim Davies, Waterman’s Building Services Director, commented; “We are really proud to have played an integral part of the wider Integrated Health Projects (IHP) team. The transformation into a world-class unit has been vital for the local community and sets an exemplary standard for future facilities.”

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