It was a great pleasure for Dan to visit Ipswich Hospital on Christmas Day to pass on his thanks to all of the staff for their hard work and commitment all year round. As the Government Minister with responsibility for Maternity Services, Nursing and Midwifery, he was particularly pleased to meet with mothers in the maternity ward before visiting the midwifery led unit and the delivery suite with Peter Donaldson, the Hospital’s Medical Director and Christine Colbourne, Head of Midwifery.
During his conversations with staff and patients at the hospital, they all agreed how important it is for mothers to have the right support and care during their pregnancy and childbirth. Last year, Dan announced that the Government will be providing an extra £25 million to improve maternity facilities and we would be increasing the number of midwives to provide more help for mums and babies. This will mean that mothers and their babies in Suffolk will now get more support during pregnancy and childbirth as midwives will be able to apply for better birthing facilities and rooms where partners can stay overnight.
As an NHS hospital doctor who at one time delivered babies on a daily basis, Dan has seen firsthand how having a child can be a stressful experience, particularly the first time around, and knows that many parents feel isolated after the birth of a child. With this new funding boost, women in Suffolk and elsewhere in the country will be able to give birth in a pleasant environment with the best facilities, care and support.
The Christmas and New Year period is a fitting time to pay tribute our local emergency services and dedicated frontline NHS workers in Suffolk, who work around the clock to make sure we can be treated in the event of an emergency, regardless of the time of year. Dan would like to again thank all of the staff at Ipswich Hospital for inviting his to visit over the festive period and would like to wish everyone a very healthy and prosperous 2013.