Barnsley Hospital has worked closely with local families to design a new £2.5m, 24-bed antenatal/postnatal unit which will benefit parents and parents-to-be across South Yorkshire.

Antenatal and postnatal care services work to reduce maternal and new-born deaths. Antenatal helps pregnant women by identifying complications associated with the pregnancy or diseases that might adversely affect the pregnancy.

Postnatal care includes counselling and health education on recognising danger signs – for mother and new-born – and health education on routine care practices such as breastfeeding.

The ward features a discharge lounge where women will be able to relax with facilities available to access refreshments and also boasts a parent education room. This will enable women to access necessary information which will help inform them about expectations of going home with a new-born baby.

Staff also actively built fundraising projects to ensure that contributed to the facility to give highest standard of person cantered care for families the ward will provide for.

Barnsley Hospital’s new bespoke 750-square metre facility, with modern resources and facilities and staffed by a team of specialists, offers patients an antenatal/postnatal environment that supports parents-to-be and families during pregnancy.

Associate Director of Operations Kavi Berry said: “In designing the ward, the hospital worked closely with previous patients and local families to make sure that the environment met their needs. The team recognised that for many women having a baby is a joyful experience and they wanted to create a setting as much like a ‘home environment’ as possible.

“We also recognise that, sadly, for some families, this could be a period of uncertainty and loss. The new unit runs on principles of holistic support, looking at the ‘whole needs’ of the patient and considering their physical, emotional and social wellbeing which will be vital to supporting the women and families of Barnsley.’’

The unit offers patients the chance to relax in a lounge area and make snacks and drinks. There are facilities for specialist scans and diagnosis alongside services for additional psychological care and support to families who may have experienced loss, or who are coping with the anxieties which can accompany a new pregnancy.

Trust Chief Executive Richard Jenkins formally opened the new facility at a tape-cutting ceremony on 18th of May and the first patient through the door, 23-year-old Jade with partner Connor were presented with a ceremonial balloon to mark the occasion.

This new upgrade complements the existing facilities in the hospital’s Neonatal Unit and the Barnsley Birthing Centre.

Chief Operating Officer Bob Kirton added: “This new facility is a fantastic example of our ability to take a concept that has been developed through working closely with our patients and communities and translate it into a facility to directly benefit parents in our community and across South Yorkshire. We have had regular engagement sessions with patients and have managed to build in lots of their inputs and ideas into the ward and services offered.”