Homerton Hospital opens �16.5m newborn and maternity centre

Facilty will provide care for premature and at-risk babies from across north and east London

Premature babies and mums-to-be with problem pregnancies across north and east London are to get the latest in neo-natal and maternity care with the opening of a newly-expanded �16.5 million unit at Homerton University Hospital.

British Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis officially opened the state-of the art hi-tech newborn and maternity centre on Monday which almost doubles the size of the hospital’s existing maternity and neo-natal facilities.

The hospital foundation trust has invested �12.5 million into upgrading, expanding and equipping it.

But another �4.8 million has been donated by giant American-owned electrical company GE whose European HQ is based in London.

As an official sponsor of the 2012 London Games, GE made the generous donation as part of its commitment to the Olympic legacy.

The cash injection means it has one of the best equipped maternity and baby care units in the country increasing the number of specialist cots in its baby care unit to 22 and providing 20 cots in its neonatal intensive care units.

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It has also increased its labour ward with more en-suite birthing rooms and family accommodation as well as 32 antenatal and nine post natal beds.

Professor Kate Costeloe, consultant neonatal paediatrician at the Homerton, said the clinical facilities had been vastly improved and would help further reduce infant mortality rates as well as provide the highest quality care for pre-term babies and problem pregnancies.

It will also take referrals for babies needing intensive care from hospitals across north and east London as well as from south Essex.

Nancy Hallett, the hospital’s chief executive, said:“The new hi-tech facilities will help all the babies born at Homerton, especially those who need special care - who knows, maybe one of them will be a medal winner in years to come and fulfil that Olympic legacy.”

Mark Elborne, president and CEO of GE in the UK, said: “We decided to make this donation to Homerton Hospital because it is one of the designated London 2012 hospitals. We chose to focus on maternal and newborn care to address a major local issue - infant mortality. We hope this will help to create a brighter future for the people of East London for generations to come.”

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