Princess of Wales visits Royal Surrey’s ‘Outstanding’ maternity unit | News

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Princess of Wales visits Royal Surrey’s ‘Outstanding’ maternity unit

Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales made a surprise visit to Royal Surrey Foundation Trust’s outstanding-rated maternity unit today (5 October 2022) to hear about the hospital’s work with pregnant women and new mothers.

The Princess was greeted by Mrs Caroline Breckell, Deputy Clerk to the Surrey Lieutenancy (representing the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux), Chief Executive, Louise Stead and Chair, Sue Sjuve. She was then whisked up to the unit that helps welcome 3,000 babies each year.

Her Royal Highness is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of early childhood experiences and wanted to find out how the maternity team, who were rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, were supporting this.

The Princess was proudly shown around the department by Amy Stubbs, Deputy Director of Midwifery, and Clare Cardu, Deputy Head of Midwifery.

They introduced the Princess to excited members of the Jasmine Team - who help women affected by mental health illness during their pregnancy and the initial post-natal period - along with our safeguarding and specialist teenage midwives.

The Princess joked that she should have worn maroon to match the uniforms of the staff as she joined them at a table to find out more.

Jo Fabb, Maternity Perinatal Mental Health Support Worker, who was part of the group, said: "She was lovely, so nice and down to earth. She was genuinely interested in what we were doing."

The Princess of Wales visiting Royal Surrey maternity unit

Her Royal Highness also met Chiara and baby Maeve, who have benefitted from the team’s support and also heard about how they work closely with local services to provide tailored care for women even after they have left the hospital.

The Princess also popped into the bustling postnatal ward where she met brand new parents and their babies. She learnt about how the hospital has successfully introduced the pioneering continuity of care model. This sees women receiving support from the same team of midwives throughout their pregnancy journey and allows for a positive and trusting relationship to be built.

Matron, Kay Lucas, said: "The Princess was so lovely with the women. She got down to their level and talked about baby names and the shortlist of names she had had when pregnant."

Finally the Princess toured our Special Care Baby Unit, which is one of only a few in the country that provides sleeping facilities so parents can stay with their newborns round the clock.

Here she learnt about the steps the hospital takes to allow new parents to bond with their baby and met Kelly Arnold and baby, Arthur, who spent 11 days in the unit earlier this year.

The Princess also had a cuddle with baby Bianca Moran as she chatted to her Mum, Sylvia Novak.

Madeleine Woodhatch, Senior Community Midwife, who also spoke to the Princess added: "I have worked here for about 27 years and this was the most exciting day ever and something I will never forget. The Princess was just so lovely and caring."

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