Ambitious plans to improve services for mothers and babies across the city moved a step closer today as the development of a landmark new extension to the Southern General Maternity Unit reached a major milestone.
To celebrate the completion of the external structure, Nicola Sturgeon, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, joined local staff to ‘trowel off’ the final area of concrete during a special ‘Topping Out’ ceremony.
The new state-of-the-art three-storey extension, which is the first stage of a £28m plan to refurbish and expand the existing maternity unit, will house a number of world class maternity facilities for women and babies from across the city and beyond. These include:
• A brand-new fetal medicine unit which will provide specialist diagnostic facilities and treatment to unborn babies from across Scotland. The unit will be equipped with three treatment rooms, scanning facilities, counselling facilities and separate waiting areas
• Two state-of-the art operating theatres – one equipped with special laser technology used to provide treatment to babies while they are still in the womb (interventional fetal therapy)
• A purpose-built new labour suite with 12 labour rooms - all with en-suite toilet and bath/shower facilities and two with birthing pools, a six bedded antenatal area, high dependency beds and a five bedded recovery area, counselling rooms, a delivery room for women experiencing a stillbirth or miscarriage, kitchen and waiting facilities for visitors
• A neonatal intensive care unit with 34 medical and surgical intensive care/high dependency cots. The Extra Corporeal Life Support (ECLS) service will also transfer to the new neonatal unit when the new children’s hospital opens on the Southern General site in 2013. This specialist national service, which is currently based on the Yorkhill site, provides temporary life support for babies with heart or lung failure.
• Physical link to the new children’s hospital to provide access to paediatric critical care, radiology and theatres.
• A Special Care Baby Unit with 26 special care cots for babies who require extra support and care after birth and four mother and baby rooms with en-suite facilities for babies who are relatively well. These rooms will give mothers the opportunity to stay with their baby to establish parenting skills and breast feeding prior to discharge and will also reduce the need for separation if the baby requires a short-term observation or treatment
Rosslyn Crocket, NHSGGC’s Director of Women’s and Children’s Services and Board Nurse Director, said: “This new extension will not only provide state-of-the-art facilities for local women, but will also deliver world class specialist care to women and babies from across Scotland.
“Many facilities within the existing maternity unit will also be refurbished to provide modern, attractive accommodation for day care, assessment and early pregnancy advisory services.”
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Funded entirely from the public purse, the new Southern General is the biggest single investment in NHS health services ever undertaken in Scotland.
"Topping out the Maternity Unit extension is a milestone in this transformation. In less than a year, women and babies from Glasgow and all over Scotland will be cared for in this new building - the first stage in the ambitious plan to provide world-class facilities for adults, children and babies here at the Southern."
Andrew Robertson, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, added: “Investment in the maternity unit and new adult and children’s hospitals will see Glasgow become home to the largest, most advanced NHS development in Scotland. Achieving this ‘gold-standard’ of triple co-location will ensure immediate access to specialist services of all kinds and therefore the highest quality and safety standards for adults, children and babies.”
Tim Clarke, Managing Director, Balfour Beatty, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, following on from the delivery of the Rowanbank Clinic at Stobhill and the imminent completion of the New Victoria and Stobhill Hospitals. We are no strangers to the Southern General site having undertaken a series of both new build and refurbishment projects over the years. These are exciting times for everyone associated with the Southern General and its future development and we look forward to continue working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to deliver pioneering healthcare projects for the people of Glasgow and Scotland".
The extension and refurbishment of the Southern General Maternity Unit is due to be completed by the end of 2009. Services will then transfer from The Queen Mother’s Hospital to the Southern General and the Princess Royal Maternity hospitals to enable The Queen Mother’s Hospital to close as planned in early 2010.
For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.
Notes for Editors
Once complete, the extended Southern General Maternity Unit will have a total of 78 beds for women and 60 cots for babies. This will increase capacity and enable deliveries to increase from around 3200 to 5200 per year, following closure of The Queen Mother’s Hospital.