The League of Friends played a major part in the successful campaign against the closure of Stroud Maternity a few years ago. It continues to support the hospital in many practical ways – from the refurbishment of the birthing rooms to a very high standard to the donation of specialist equipment which would not otherwise be available. We also support projects for pre- and post-natal women, freely, which we believe to be unique to Stroud.
Stroud Hospitals League of Friends helped with the funding of two new birthing pools at Stroud Maternity hospital. We collaborated with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create two birth suites, each with its own new birthing pool, kitchenette and en-suite bath/shower room, plus three en suite side rooms. In addition, partners are able to stay overnight following the birth of their children in recliner chairs that the League of Friends purchased. New furnishings throughout and a sofa in the day-room have been funded by the League, and will help to make this important maternity unit even more homely, with its caring environment provided by highly skilled midwifery staff. We hope that this work will encourage more women to choose Stroud Maternity Hospital for their births.
Stroud Maternity Unit is providing women with a more relaxing birthing experience, thanks to the donation of new ‘sky tiles.’ The sky tiles are installed directly over the birthing pool, as light fittings behind images which give the impression of a window looking into the sky. More than 300 women give birth at Stroud Maternity each year and the League of Friends help to keep its facilities up-to-date. During labour, lighting is often kept low and curtains drawn to introduce a relaxing environment, but this means that mums in labour cannot look outside. Now the sky tiles are in place, mothers can be in the birthing pool and look up to see the trees and sky, helping them to stay relaxed and calm.
Portable Ultrasound Scanner and Trolley
Following a request from midwives, the League of Friends purchased a portable Ultrasound scanner and trolley at a cost of £22,838. This latest equipment does everything a full-sized scanner can do, but is the size of a laptop computer. Rather than going to the main hospital at Stroud, mothers-to-be can remain in the privacy and calm of the Maternity Unit. It enhances the service at the unit, aiding the midwifery staff with their care, and supplements the progress achieved with the recently installed new birthing pools.
Many babies experience some naturally occurring jaundice in the first days and weeks at home. However, jaundice can lead to more serious conditions. The League of Friends have equipped Stroud Hospital maternity team with jaundice meters, which enable them to get an instant reading of Jaundice levels whether in the maternity unit or visiting at home. This enables them immediately to identify babies at high risk and have them treated at the earliest possible stage, thus ensuring that midwives have the best possible chance of preventing the serious, life-changing consequences of high jaundice levels. The four jaundice meters cost £15,000 but are now an essential tool in the care of new-borns around the Five Valleys.