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The $9.47m redevelopment of maternity facilities on the Hutt Hospital campus is well underway.

The Community Midwifery service, Maternity Assessment Unit, Maternity ward (birthing and postnatal) and the Special Care Baby Unit, will be redeveloped in four stages over the next two years.

The redesign will optimise birth experiences and increase the physical space available in the maternity outpatient areas, birthing and postnatal care, and special care for babies.

A variety of internal and external stakeholders were engaged with on design principles and key themes to underpin an ideal physical environment to better meet the needs of pregnant women/persons, babies and their whānau.

After significant engagement and consultation with internal and external stakehoders and the wider community, key themes were identified including; designated functional spaces, an environment that reflects a person’s journey, culturally responsive design and whānau inclusive spaces.

This work is part of a wider review and strategic planning process in relation to maternity and neonatal care that achieves equitable and optimal outcomes and experiences for pregnant people, babies and families across the Hutt Valley region.

The hospital setting is only one part of the equation—we are also focused on improving equity and outcomes for Māori, Pacific and other families whose needs are not always met by traditional models of care.

Phase one: Community Midwifery Service - completed

Building works have now been completed in the Community Midwifery area. The team is now located on the ground floor of the Community Health Building in their new office and clinical spaces.

Phase two: Maternity Assessment Unit - completed

The second phase of the project saw the redesign and expansion of the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU). This project involved the construction and design of dedicated spaces that are sensitive to the specific needs of those accessing our care. The development of dedicated early pregnancy clinic rooms and a redeveloped waiting area will provide improved privacy, increased space and support to women/persons and whānau experiencing loss.

The new unit began welcoming pregnant women/persons, babies and their whānau from Monday 10 October, following a blessing led by Kaumatua, Peter Jackson, with staff and stakeholders on Friday 7 October. 

The new spacious waiting area and consulting spaces have been designed using insights from our teams and parents and whanau. It has a calm, welcoming waiting area, and private spaces where pregnant people and whanau can work with their carer.

Artist's impressions below. 

Image: Detailed design of Maternity Assessment Unit reception and waiting area

Image: Detailed design of clinic assessment room in Maternity Assessment Unit.

Phase three: Maternity Ward

The third phase of this project will see significant work undertaken in the maternity ward to increase space, improve privacy and enhance clinical outcomes through purpose-built environments.

Redesign of postnatal rooms:

Preliminary work ahead of wider redevelopment on the maternity ward is underway, with the redesign of postnatal rooms to create comforting and tranquil spaces for postnatal and inpatient recovery.

We have used the key themes to create design decisions to achieve warmer and less clinical colours, softer lighting, storage for parents and whānau, sunscreen roller blinds and textured curtains to provide privacy and an overall more homely feel.

The new design also includes elements such as foldaway beds, bespoke cabinetry and some double beds.

We have also worked to design and arrange furniture for partners, so that both parents can focus on bonding with their new pēpē. There are of course other changes and improvements planned in the wider redevelopment phases.

Maternity ward redevelopment:

This will involve the redevelopment of birthing and postnatal rooms to create fit for purpose, culturally inclusive, whānau friendly and private environments.

This phase of the project will also see patient bathroom upgrades, a purpose built whānau room, improved clinical spaces for storage of equipment, and multi-purpose areas for whānau meetings, staff training and clinical handovers.

We will confirm time frames for this phase in the last quarter of 2023.  

Phase four: Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

The redesign of SCBU will increase the space and capacity of the unit, providing a fit for purpose environment that is private, culturally responsive, has dedicated functional spaces and better access to/storage of specialised equipment. 

Improvements will include expansion to provide additional cot space, purpose built isolation, separate acute assessment areas, dedicated rooming-in spaces, and improved whānau facilities.

We will confirm time frames for this phase in the last quarter of 2023.