Improving facilities for West Lothian mums

From spring next year West Lothian mums-to-be will have improved facilities and more choice about the birth of their baby.

As part of NHS Lothian’s commitment to St John’s Hospital, the delivery suite at the hospital is undergoing a £1.7 million refurbishment. As a result, all the nine birthing rooms will have new en-suite facilities and three rooms will include birthing pools. The new delivery suite has been designed to provide increased privacy and dignity during the birth experience.

To maintain maternity services at St John’s Hospital during the refurbishment, the delivery suite has been temporarily relocated to ward 20 on the second floor. The new facilities will open in spring 2014.

Maria Wilson. Chief Midwife, NHS Lothian, said: “The refurbishment of the delivery suite at St John’s Hospital is the next step in our plans to improve birthing facilities across Lothian and the plans take into account feedback from women and their families.

“During the refurbishment, we will continue to provide the high quality, personal care that women expect in the relocated delivery suite in ward 20.”

The refurbishment is part of NHS Lothian’s maternity strategy which also included the construction of the Lothian Birth Centre next to the Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. The strategy was developed following a significant public consultation which helped to shape the service to meet the changing needs of the community and the unprecedented rise in the birth rate.

The number of babies born in Lothian hospitals soared from 8,538 in 2004 to 9,654 in 2012 – a total of 6,954 at the RIE and 2,700 at St John’s Hospital.

Cynthia Clarkson, a lay member of the Lothian Maternity Services Liaison Committee, said:

“This work will provide improved services and choice for women in Lothian and is very welcome. The new delivery suite will build on the success of the Birth Centre and we are looking forward to the refurbishment being completed next year.”


Notes to Editors:

The Lothian Maternity Services Liaison Committee has been closely involved in the development of the plans for the refurbishment.

The temporary delivery suite in ward 20 will have seven rooms with similar facilities to those at the moment.

More information is available on the Pregnant? What next?​​ section of the website.