We were very lucky to have a visit from Jo Swinson, Lib Dem Minister of State for Women and Equalities, in February. She came to visit the Maternity visit at Watford Hospital.
Ms Swinson and Dorothy spent more than an hour touring the unit, including the neonatal unit which treats babies who are unwell or premature (as early as 27 weeks old). They also met with patients and staff, and toured the unit’s Alexandra Birthing Centre, which offers mums-to-be that are unlikely to suffer complications the choice to give birth in a more relaxed environment with birthing pools and other home comforts.
The Alexandra Birthing Centre was upgraded in 2013 thanks to a grant of £537,000 from the Department of Health.
Professor Tracey Carter is Chief Nurse for Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals. She said: “I was delighted to welcome Jo and Dorothy to our maternity unit. We deliver more then 5,000 babies each year and our midwives, doctors and other staff work hard to provide them – and their parents – with the best possible service.
“The team were able to brief Jo and Dorothy about the work that they do, their successes in recent years and the challenges that they face.”
Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Minister for Women and Equalities said: “It was wonderful to tour both facilities and meet staff members who obviously care so passionately about supporting women during childbirth. Becoming a parent brings new and wonderful experiences, and a new set of challenges. A major one for so many families is how to juggle work with caring responsibilities.”
Dorothy Thornhill, Mayor of Watford and Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Watford said: "Watford mums really have a first-rate service and the team at the maternity unit do a grand job. The unit was refurbished in 2013 and it breathed new life into an old building. I was proud to show off the unit to Jo who is Minister for Women and Equalities and a recent mum herself."