22nd January 2020

Work to begin on £300,000 upgrade to Musgrove Park Hospital’s birthing centre

Maternity Staff at Musgrove Park Hospital

Parents-to-be in Taunton and Somerset will soon have access to a state-of-the-art birthing centre following a £300,000 upgrade.

Musgrove Park Hospital’s Bracken Birthing Centre, where women who have a low risk of complications can give birth, will undergo a significant refurbishment over the next few months.

The new birthing centre will have two brand new en-suite rooms, including an additional birthing pool. It will have a modern feel with better lighting and temperature control.

The existing Bracken Birthing Centre will be closed to births from Monday 13 January until the newly refurbished centre opens in early summer 2020.

During the temporary closure women will have three options on where to give birth:

  • Mary Stanley Birthing Unit at Bridgwater Hospital, which is run by an experienced team of midwives and has modern facilities and two birthing pools
  • The Labour ward at Musgrove Park Hospital under the care of Bracken midwives
  • A home birth under the care of the community midwifery team.

Additional services, such as 24 hour breastfeeding support and assessment in early labour, is available in all three options.

The Bracken Birthing Centre upgrade has been funded by Musgrove Park’s League of Friends, which ran a successful Toad Trail campaign that caught the imagination of people from Taunton and beyond.

The Toad Trail raised £50,000 with a further £250,000 coming from legacy donations, left to the League of Friends for the benefit of patients.

Philippa Quinn, ward sister responsible for Bracken Birthing Centre, said:

“We are delighted that we will be able to provide a comfortable, modern birthing centre for parents-to-be in Somerset.

“While mums-to-be will not be able to use Bracken to give birth during the building works, there will be alternative options for place of birth during this time and women will continue to be able to access postnatal and feeding support at the centre. 

 “We are contacting all women who were booked in to give birth in Bracken over the next few months to let them know the other options available to them – a birth at the Mary Stanley Unit at Bridgwater Hospital, Musgrove Park Hospital’s Labour ward, or a home birth.

“We also want to extend a huge thank you to our League of Friends for the amazing Toad Trail fundraising campaign, which proved a real hit over the summer. Without the League’s support we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this upgrade so soon.”

This is the first of three major improvements that are taking place at Musgrove Park’s maternity unit in 2020.

A second project will begin in April to upgrade the unit’s reception and waiting areas, and the final part will include refurbishment work on the Labour ward, which will begin in May.