"Helston Birth Centre"

About: Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske)

What a disappointment. We were looking forward to having a tour of a homely, beautiful birth space with soft furnishings, lovely lighting and a welcoming atmosphere.

Instead, what you get is a cold-feeling clinical hospital room with a pool simply plonked in the middle of it. This is not a 'birth centre'.

There is absolutely no need for a hospital bed, thin NHS curtains, cylinders and resus on show, or for clinical stock to be stored in the en-suite.

In my work I have visited many birth centres up-country and feel that the designer of Helston Birth Centre has rather spectacularly missed the point entirely.

I recommend that whoever is responsible attends further training on woman-friendly birth environments and how this leads to better outcomes. They could also do with learning from the examples of their colleagues in other hospital trusts.

I do hope the new birth centre at Treliske will have more thought given to it.

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