Royal visit for Merthyr Tydfil maternity unit

on 03 April 2023 RCM Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwifery Midwives RCM Member HRH The Princess Royal Royal Family RCM Patron

The Prince Charles Hospital Maternity Unit in Merthyr Tydfil had a royal treat today with a visit from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

HRH The Princess Royal toured the unit – part of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board – and along the way chatted to midwives, student midwives, members of the multi-professional team, women and their partners. The Princess Royal also visited the unit’s alongside midwifery led unit and delivery suite, as well as hearing about the work of maternity support workers, the often-unsung heroes of maternity services.

Accompanying her on the visit were the RCM’s President Rebeccah Davies, RCM Chief Executive Gill Walton, and RCM Wales Director Julie Roberts. Health Board representatives included the Chairman Jonathan Morgan and Chief Executive Paul Mears. The Director of Midwifery, Dr Suzanne Hardacre, who also accompanied The Princess Royal, has recently been awarded a prestigious RCM Fellowship for her contribution to midwifery.

RCM Director for Wales, Julie Richards said: “This was a wonderful day and a real and well-deserved honour for the staff. It is one that will remain in their memories for a long, long time. It was also a surprise royal treat for women and families in the unit who did not expect to see a senior member of the Royal Family coming towards them and stopping to chat. The maternity team were able to tell The Princess Royal about the wonderful work they do in the unit to ensure women get the best possible care and choices. This was certainly a highlight of the year for RCM Wales, and I am sure for the staff and parents as well.”

Prince Charles Hospital maternity unit offers a range of birth choices for women and birthing people. The main delivery suite has 2 obstetric theatres, six en-suite birth rooms and one pool. The hospital also has an alongside midwifery unit with 3 rooms. Over 4,500 babies are born in the health board each year, of which more than half are born at the Merthyr unit. The hospital also has a co-located neonatal unit.

Director of Midwifery, Dr Suzanne Hardacre said: “It is a privilege to have welcomed The Princess Royal to our Maternity Unit at Prince Charles Hospital. Our teams have worked through the most challenging of circumstances in recent years, and for their work and achievements to be recognised by this visit is a great honour. I know that colleagues have relished the opportunity to showcase the unit, of which they are so proud, and to talk to The Princess Royal about their individual roles. It is a day we will all remember.”

At the end of the tour The Princess Royal unveiled a special plaque to commemorate her visit which will be displayed in the unit.