Lynn’s new Waterlily Birth Centre has been praised as a “wonderful addition” to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by Norfolk’s High Sheriff.
Nicholas Pratt formally opened the new £600,000 birthing unit at a ceremony this morning attended by senior managers, staff and patients.
And he said it was “a great honour” for him and his wife, Julia, to open the facility at the hospital where their own three children were born.
“This unit, state of the art, is going to be a wonderful addition to this hospital”, he said.
“To see the trust leading the way in offering these outstanding facilities makes me feel very proud indeed.”
The centre has three main rooms fitted with specialist equipment, such as birthing pools and couches in order to help women feel as relaxed as possible as they prepare to give birth.
It is also next to the main delivery suite so that mothers and their babies can be moved with minimal disruption if any complications occur.
Since the unit opened shortly before Christmas, 25 new babies have been delivered in it.
Parents Ian Knight and Roxanne Smith, whose son Alife was one of the first babies to be born there, were among those celebrating the official opening.
Roxanne said: “It was fantastic for us to use the centre. It made the whole experience nicer and we felt calm and reassured when Alfie was born. Being invited back today was an honour.”
Catherine Morgan, the hospital’s director of nursing, added: “The unit forms part of our journey of improvement and being able to provide our expectant mothers with more choice is a significant achievement. We look forward to welcoming expectant mothers for many years to come.”