Birthing centre opens in Scotland


£2.8m facility launched in Edinburgh as part of maternity shake-up

Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, has opened a new birthing centre in Lothian.

The £2.8m development provides expectant mothers with more choice over where to have their babies. Connected to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, the unit has six delivery rooms, all with en-suite facilities. Each room also has a birthing pool and equipment including birthing balls, mats and pillows.

It was commissioned as part of NHS Lothian’s maternity strategy, which aims to help manage an increasing number of births in the region – 9,915 in 2010 compared to 8,538 in 2004.

The unit has six en-suite delivery rooms, each with a birthing pool

The unit has six en-suite delivery rooms, each with a birthing pool

Chief midwife, Maria Wilson, said: “Our new centre offers a homely and tranquil environment with all the advantages of hospital expertise nearby. In developing our maternity strategy we spent a lot of time talking to women, their families, staff and the voluntary sector about how they would like services to be delivered and are delighted to be able to offer more choice about how and where women can give birth.”

Sturgeon added: “I am impressed by the quality of the facilities, with bright and airy rooms. The centre is a great example of giving women a choice in relation to their maternity care and maximising the potential for all women to have as natural a birth as possible.”

The building, delivered by main contractor, Premier Interlink, comprises of 27 PremierPlus bays, with all equipment stored in high-tech Mediwall built-in cabinets when not in use to comply with HTM specifications. The exterior is clad in laminated low-maintenance Cedral cladding.

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Plans are now being developed to upgrade the delivery suite at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.