UCLH Charity funds four pioneering projects in new multi-million pound maternity wing
A £70 million maternity wing has opened at University College Hospital and the UCLH Charity has provided £884,000 to fund four cutting-edge projects in the exciting new facility.
The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, named after the Victorian medical pioneer and feminist, provides three fl oors dedicated to the care of mothers and babies. It brings to a close the two-phase construction of UCLH, one of the biggest and most ambitious hospital building projects to be completed since the NHS was established 60 years ago.
“The four projects funded by the UCLH Charity are essential as they will help to provide the 21st century care that our mothers and babies deserve” says Philip Brading, the Charity’s Chief Executive.
Each project will enhance the care provided by the unit:
- A pioneering technique will provide continuous video and EEG (brainwave) monitoring for babies in the intensive care nursery. “The technique is already well established for adults and older children, but until now it has not been used for newborn babies” explains Philip. “The equipment that the Charity has provided will be used to diagnose seizures, monitor treatment and help to evaluate new medication more suitable for very small babies. We hope that this will help to reduce brain injuries and long-term disability.”
- More support will also be available for the increasing number of women who survive heart problems because of medical advances and go on to become pregnant. “Pregnancy places a critical strain on the heart so it is crucial that mothers-to-be are continuously monitored for their own sake and their baby’s sake. We have also provided extra equipment for the Heart Hospital as planned and emergency deliveries may also be carried out there.”
- The monitoring of high-risk mothers and babies will be made easier, thanks to an information system that collects and stores patient information. “The system will provide a level of vigilance that helps to reduce the risk of human error. At the same time it has been designed to be unobtrusive and respect the privacy of the patients.”
- Equipment will be provided, like swaddling and heated mattresses, to enable low birth weight or pre-term babies to be nursed on the wards alongside their mothers. “Studies have shown that when babies are less stressed they are more likely to thrive and signifi cantly improve their lung function, feeding and growth” says Philip.