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Hospitals to share in £1.5m investment in maternity facilities
SIX hospital trusts in the North-East and one in North Yorkshire are to share in a £1.5m Government investment to improve and upgrade maternity units.
The money is part of £25m fund which will benefit more than 100 hospitals across the country.
The cash will go towards a wide range of projects that should improve choice for women and their experience of maternity care.
Across the country, the improvements will include new birthing pools, new midwife-led units and more en-suite facilities.
More equipment like beds and family rooms units, that allow dads and families to stay overnight, will also be installed.
Other improvements include equipment that gives women more freedom to move around and change position while in labour and facilities that allow women to choose if they want a bath or shower.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "We are now going to see huge improvements to maternity services right across the country - from birthing pools to family rooms and even new midwifery-led units. These will make a big difference to the experience mums and families have of NHS maternity services, with more choice and a better environment where women can give birth."
Applications for funding have only been approved where there was evidence that local mums and dads wanted the changes. Bids were judged by a panel that included representatives from the Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The cash will go to: Sunderland Royal Hospital £39,000, Gateshead Health £374,000, Northumbria Healthcare £166,000,North Tees and Hartlepool £195,000, University Hospital of North Durham £45,000, South Tyneside District Hospital £266,760 and York Teaching Hospital £417,000.