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Thursday, 11 October, 2001, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Money for maternity wards
Maternity unit
208 maternity units in England will receive money
Maternity wards in London are to receive 16m to spend on modernising and improving their services.

The government has allocated 100m to maternity wards across the UK.

On Thursday Health Minister, Jackie Smith, visited the Whittington Hospital in north London which is receiving 1m to refurbish its maternity facilities.

Overall 208 maternity units in England will receive money to pay for refurbishments, new facilities for fathers and families and to establish better bereavement facilities in more than 80 units.


Pregnant women should have choice and high quality care and support in every corner of the country

Jackie Smith, Health Minister
This investment will help to ensure that women in Britain receive quality maternity services and are able to make choices about over their care and childbirth.

Jacqui Smith said: "Improving maternity services is vital to giving children and families the best start in life.

"Pregnant women should have choice and high quality care and support in every corner of the country.

"It is clear that people want to see clean, modern maternity units with better facilities for fathers and bereaved parents.

More midwives

"We know that women want more support in labour too and that is why we will introduce a new 'gold standard' of one-to-one care in labour in every corner of the country so that all units provide the level of care that the majority already deliver."

Pregnant women, doctors, midwives and parents are being consulted over how the extra money should be spent.

In the next five years 2,000 extra midwives will be recruited and national standards will be drawn up for children's health and maternity services.

The government has also announced plans to recruit 500 more midwives by 2002.

Regional funds

Midwives who return to work in the NHS will receive a one-off incentive payment of 1500.

This money will assist with the cost of travel and books and they will receive additional assistance with childcare costs of up to 150 a week.

The new National Service Framework for children's health and maternity care will set out how best the gold standard of one to care during labour can be achieved across Britain.

The funds for the maternity units have been allocated regionally as follows: North and Yorkshire: 13,016,970, Eastern: 9,697,522, North West: 13,864,000, Trent: 9,134,620, London: 16,070,000, West Midlands: 11,229,579, South West: 9,344,000, South East: 16,537,728.


Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

24 Aug 01 | Health
Bigger maternity units 'safer'
14 Jun 01 | Health
Maternity service revamp revealed
07 Feb 01 | UK Politics
UK maternity benefits 'poor'
13 Apr 01 | Health
Caesarean rate riddle
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