£66,000 donation for a new kitchen & staff rest area at Crowborough Hospital

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Thanks to generous donations from the community the Friends of Crowborough Hospital have recently been able to fund further improvements at Crowborough Hospital.

A new kitchen and staff rest area has been created for the Birthing Centre. The kitchen is not only available for staff to use, but parents can also prepare food and drinks 24-hours a day during their stay.

The Friends believe it is important to support facilities for both parents and staff to give a secure future to the centre.

New communal kitchen
Staff rest area

The official opening was held last week. The event was also used to acknowledge 25 years since the start of midwifery-led care in Crowborough.

Before inviting the MP for Wealden to cut a ribbon to officially open the new facilities, the Chief Executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust welcomed everyone and thanked the Friends of Crowborough Hospital who have contributed to many projects at the Birthing Centre over the years:

As well as publicly thanking the Friends for their generous donation, this is also an opportunity to mark the return of births to Crowborough. This service is really important to us and, since it reopened in April, it has gone from strength to strength.  We are on course to be busier in the Birthing Centre this year than before Covid hit.

Miles Scott, Chief Executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust

The Birthing Centre in Crowborough was one of the first midwife-led centres to open in the country. It is a 24-hour a day service, run by a dedicated team of experienced midwives, offering complete antenatal and postnatal care, as well as many birth choices.

Richard Hallett MBE, Vice President and Trustee of Crowborough Hospital League of Friends explained good quality facilities for staff are recognised as more important than ever in today’s pressurised health professional working environment. He also credited the enthusiasm of the new Matron:

Our task as the Friends is to represent the community and it’s the community that give donations to help our funding. We look for practical ways in which we can support the Birthing Centre and staff and Crowborough Hospital and we were delighted to be able to help with the new communal kitchen and staff rest room. We would like to thank Miles Scott and Nus Ghani MP for their unwavering support for the birth centre and its staff even in difficult times, and for appointing Nicolette McCarthy as the new Matron who has such enthusiasm and energy for the birth centre to progress.

In amongst the excitement of restarting births at Crowborough we should remember the fantastic work of the community midwives who kept the birth centre going as a local maternity care centre for some 800 women each year right through the pandemic. That alone made an enormous difference for local pregnant women, and restarting births ensures that there is a complete package of maternity care available locally about which we are delighted.

Vice President of Crowborough Hospital League of Friends

The Centre has two birthing rooms with birthing pools available, and three postnatal rooms, some with double beds, so that partners can also stay. The Birthing Centre was temporary closed during the pandemic.

Group photo official opening of the new parent and staff kitchen and rest room
(left to right): Richard Hallett MBE, Vice President and Trustee, Friends of Crowborough Hospital; Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden; Nicolette McCarthy, Crowborough Birthing Centre Matron; Jo Webber, Associate Non-Executive Director, MTW; Miles Scott, MTW Chief Executive.

Nusrat Ghani, Wealden MP said:

I am proud that we have this fantastic facility in Wealden, enabling safe out-of-hospital birth care for parents-to-be across East Sussex and Kent. Many thanks to the Matron, Nicolette McCarthy and all the midwives and staff for their superb work providing first class care.

Wealden MP

The Friends raise funds with the help of many local organisations and their team of dedicated volunteers. One of their biggest fundraisers is the annual Hospital Fête which is held on August Bank Holiday Monday. Many local people have also been kind enough to leave the Friends a legacy in their will.

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