Better births projects

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The birth of a child should be a wonderful, life-changing time for a mother and her whole family. It is a time of new beginnings, of fresh hopes and new dreams, of change and opportunity. It is a time when the experiences we have can shape our lives and those of our babies and families forever. These moments are so precious, and so important. It is the privilege of the NHS and healthcare professionals to care for women, babies and their families at these formative times.

Every woman, every pregnancy, every baby and every family is different. Therefore, quality services (by which we mean safe, clinically effective and providing a good experience) must be personalised. Our vision for maternity services here at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of NHS England's Better Births Initiative, is for them to become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family friendly; where every woman has access to information to enable her to make decisions about her care; and where she and her baby can access support that is centered around their individual needs and circumstances. 

If you would like to donate to the Better Births Appeal click donate below.



Appeal Update










We are delighted to have taken delivery of the 18 Variable Height Cots on 12th November 2020.

Variable Height Cots for the Delivery and Maternity Wards

The cots currently in use on our wards have been in use since 2002 and have provided care to tens of thousands of babies delivered at Great Western Hospital.

We would like to replace all 18 fixed height cots with a more modern variable height cot. These cots are already used in our midwife lead unit - the White Horse Birth Centre - and we want to extend their use, so that all new born babies and parents can benefit from the enhanced care they offer.

Benefits of the Variable Height Cots

The Croyde Variable Height Cot is designed to help improve the bonding experience between Mother and baby after childbirth. As they enable easy access for parents to care for their baby.

The adjustable height and that fact that the cot can be placed across the bed rather than to the side are of great benefit to mothers who have a caesarean section.

It can be placed underneath the hospital bed frame to allow the cradle and baby to be positioned safely over the top of the bed.   This allows mother and baby to have skin-to-skin contact without the risks of the mother becoming tired and struggling to put the baby back in the cot.

The variable height feature allows the cot to be raised or lowered to suit the midwife or the mother and avoids the need for uncomfortable bending / reaching.

The cot can be raised and lowered in one simple, hands-free movement to allow it to be positioned at the ideal height for the midwife or mother. 

It is supplied as standard with a storage basket for changing materials which is also ergonomically located at the same height as the cradle to avoid unnecessary bending and reaching.

(Source: BETTER BIRTHS: Improving outcomes of maternity services in England A Five Year Forward View for maternity care - NHS England)