The maternity ward at Croydon University Hospital is to receive funding and refurbishment amid fears that the ward could be closed down.
Croydon Health Services has been awarded just over £300,000 of a £25 million government fund to improve birthing environments.
The money will go to refurbish and expand the maternity department facilities at Croydon University Hospital, following a government announcement on January 24.
The Trust has also committed £100,000 to the maternity department on top of the government funding.
However this money comes shortly after a Care Quality Commission’s report which deemed levels of staffing at the hospital to be unsafe.
Their report stated that the Croydon University Hospital does not have enough staff: “to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs.”
A Croydon hospital nurse, 27, who did not want to be named said: “I think staffing levels are reasonable. We work around the clock, but I think perhaps the money could employ more nurses, especially student nurses who are recently qualified, to help women more during the early stages of labour.”
“We care for so many women here that £306,000 is a drop in the ocean. We welcome new life into the world and protect and care for mother and baby.”
Nevertheless she said: “We need the equipment this money will provide. We are working towards a surplus each day. We are constantly threatened by the proposals to close the department and the A&E.”
Eastlondonlines has calculated that the new funding would provide £72 per child born this year.
East Croydon resident, Amanda Fern, 33, said: “I am expecting my first baby in June, so I think this is very good news for all mothers-to-be in Croydon, it is nice to see the government are listening to women, especially over something that only we know about.”
The Royal College of Midwives’ Chief Executive Cathy Warwick said of the new fund: “Dozens of new birthing pools, eight new midwife-led units, more en suite facilities in dozens of units, and lots more besides. It is great to learn about the positive changes that this extra £25m will make to many units up and down the country.”
It is expected that the refurbishment of the maternity department will be completed in mid-May this year.
Croydon University Hospital had 4,200 births in 2011, with the lowest rate of caesarean section in London, 23.5%.