At a cost of around £100,000, a model mum-to-be will top a shopping list of items to form the basis of a new £250,000 Bayb’s Maternity Appeal aimed at making Furness General Hospital’s new £11 million maternity unit among the best equipped and most comfortable in the country.
The first of her kind in Cumbria, the state-of-the-art life-size, life-like mannequin, made so realistic that to the touch, she has the feel of skin, is fitted with a wireless computer chip that allows her to be programmed to experience a range of birthing difficulties. Through her care, staff working in maternity services will gain practical, hands-on experience of dealing with all types of delivery suite complications.
The Bayb’s Maternity Appeal is also raising funds for an additional three birthing pools to ensure that any mum-to-be wanting a water birth can have the option of one. Other items include furnishings such as TVs, docking stations, birth partner stay-over beds and a special room for parents of babies too poorly to go home, ergonomic swinging cots to ensure baby gets closer to mum and contemporary décor in all rooms to help give the unit a home from home feel.
Finally, the appeal is also raising funds for a new bereavement suite and private garden area that will provide a calm, reflective space, offering parents much needed solace when faced with the loss of a baby.
In launching the appeal, Paula Richardson, Head of Charity & Fundraising for UHMBT, explained: “All of these items fall outside the remit of what the NHS is able to fund but as a Trust, we want to provide a maternity unit for local women that is genuinely second to none in the country. To do that, we are asking people to help by supporting our Bayb’s Maternity Appeal.”
Sascha Wells, Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, explained: “Most births are relatively straightforward so it’s vitally important that all staff working in maternity services have the confidence that only experience brings to manage situations in which difficulties do arise. By giving them continuous access to practical training through cutting edge simulation equipment, which for all intents and purposes react just like a real birthing mum, we can ensure our teams gain hands on experience maintaining the right level of skills and knowledge that instinctively rise to the fore if faced with a problem.
“As with other branches of medicines, Midwifery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics is an evolving science with new ideas on best practices emerging all the time.”
Plans are being drawn up for a range of activities and events to support the Bayb’s Maternity Appeal. These are detailed on the Bay Hospitals Charity website. To log on, visit www.bayhospitalscharity.org
To find out more, also see the Bay Hospitals Charity Facebook page or call into its new office at the entrance to Furness General Hospital or its office at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.