Royal recognition as the Princess Royal visits Cossham Birth Centre

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Midwives at Cossham Birth Centre welcomed a special arrival when they were visited by the Princess Royal.

Her Royal Highness visited the midwife-led birth centre in Kingswood on Friday (March 4) in her role as patron of The Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Cossham Birth Centre is part of North Bristol NHS Trust and was the first free-standing, midwife led birth centre in Bristol. It opened in January 2013 and since then has welcomed the arrival of hundreds of babies.

The Princess Royal saw first hand the state of the art facilities that include four en-suite rooms, water pools in every birthing room, communal facilities for partners, as well as aids to labour that include TENS and aromatherapy treatments.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Chief Executive, Cathy Warwick and Janet Fyle MBE a Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM accompanied Her Royal Highness during her visit to the unit.

The Princess Royal at Cossham Birth Centre Carmen Valino © The Royal College of Midwives 2016. All Rights ReservedThe Princess Royal at Cossham Birth Centre: Carmen Valino © The Royal College of Midwives 2016. All Rights Reserved

During her time at the birth centre - which was rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in their inspection report published last year - she met maternity staff and mothers who shared their stories and experiences with The Princess Royal.

The visit highlighted the excellent work being done by midwives at the unit to personalise the care women receive there. Her Royal Highness will also be introduced to new parents who have recently given birth there.

Commenting on the visit RCM's Chief Executive Cathy Warwick said: “The RCM is really happy that The Princess Royal visited Cossham Birth Centre. It was a great opportunity to display the wonderful work that midwives and maternity staff do here day in day out to personalise care for women and for her to meet those women who have benefited from mid-wife led care here at this unit.”

 “It was a chance to show Her Royal Highness the different choices available to women and their partners at Cossham Birth Centre and to hear first-hand from mothers, midwives and other maternity staff about the birth centre and how it is delivering a first class service for women, babies and their families.”

The Princess Royal at Cossham Birth Centre Carmen Valino © The Royal College of Midwives 2016. All Rights ReservedThe Princess Royal at Cossham Birth Centre: Carmen Valino © The Royal College of Midwives 2016. All Rights Reserved

Lisa Marshall Head of Midwifery at North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs Cossham Birth Centre said: "It was a pleasure to welcome The Princess Royal to our outstanding birth centre.

"She took the time to meet all the staff and took a very detailed interest in the work that has been undertaken here, particularly our focus on FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) training to enable women from all parts of our local community to use our services.

“Cossham Birth Centre was set up as the result of cross-community working with multi-professional and community membership that led the service.

"Thanks to the RCM for facilitating the visit to showcase our wonderful services."

North Bristol NHS Trust Chief Executive, Andrea Young, added: "The Princess Royal was very informed and spent a lot of time talking to everyone including cleaners, catering and security staff and the League of Friends.

"It was particularly good to talk to her about our work around FGM for which we have been leading the way."