‘RCM Patron HRH The Princess Royal Visits South Lake Birth Centre’

By ‘RCM Patron HRH The Princess Royal Visits South Lake Birth Centre’ on 06 September 2019 Brexit Trade Unions TUC Perinatal Mental Health NHS NHS Funding

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal has paid a special visit to South Lakes Birth Centre in Barrow-in-Furness, as part of her role as Patron to The Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

The centre, named by the local community and staff, is made up of 14 en-suite birthing rooms with facilities for partners to stay over, two dedicated operating theatres, a Special Care Baby Unit, a Maternity Assessment area, a Transitional Care facility, a skills lab for staff training, and a Bereavement Suite.

HRH The Princess Royal met with midwives student midwives and the wider midwifery staff team at the £12 million state-of-the-art unit at Furness General Hospital along with RCM CEO Gill Walton, RCM President Kathryn Gutteridge and RCM Board member Sascha Wells and members of the senior management team from the Trust

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It was fantastic to meet so many midwives on the Royal Visit yesterday and see first hand the improvements to this maternity service. The Trust has worked closely and in collaboration with women, their families and the local community to develop a maternity service that meets their needs and that is very much evident.

“The entire team at the South Lakes Birth Centre are an excellent example of a maternity service that has over the past number of years worked hard to improve the service it delivers and they have an engaged, enthusiastic and empowered team of midwives, student midwives and MSWs who work closely with the wider multi disciplinary team which enables them to deliver choice and continuity of care to women. The facilities are state of the art everything from the birthing rooms to the bereavement suite should be the blue print for all birth centres.


“The positive working culture has undoubtedly been part of the maternity services success over the past number of year and the implementation of changes and improvements has contributed to improvements in safety and I am delighted that the team have been able to showcase the wonderful work they are doing, to give women, babies and their families high quality care. It is wonderful for the service and staff to be recognised in this way."


Sue Smith OBE, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, UHMBT, said “It really is a great honour to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to the South Lakes Birth Centre. We are so proud of our facilities and our staff, and are thrilled to be one of only a small number of maternity units across the UK to be recognised by such a prestigious visit.

“It is a great opportunity for us to highlight the excellent care being provided by our staff to local mums and families, and the truly fantastic things that happen at the South Lakes Birth Centre every single day.

“The visit is especially poignant as some of the families who worked with us throughout the Kirkup investigation into maternity services at Furness General Hospital were able to join us. Without their continuing support, we would not have been able to develop such a great unit and make so many significant changes to the working culture of the hospital and ultimately the wider Trust.

“I’d like to say a big Morecambe Bay thank you to these families, HRH The Princess Royal and The Royal College of Midwives for such a special and unforgettable day.”





The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust were shortlisted for the RCM Maternity service of 2018. https://www.rcmawards.com/2018-shortlist


To contact the RCM’s Media Relations team call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]



The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources.

 For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.