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Oxford University Hospitals given funding for new maternity theatre

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The Department of Health has confirmed funding of £1.8 million to develop a new Delivery Suite theatre at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. 

It is part of an NHS England initiative to give more patients world-class care in world-class facilities, with capital funding of £963 million provided to 75 new schemes across the country.

Confirmation of funding for the new Delivery Suite theatre at the JR follows a successful bid by Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (BOB STP) for government funding for the NHS in the region.

Dr Veronica Miller, Clinical Director for Maternity, said: "I am really delighted that we are going to have this additional theatre and improved space for high risk women who require a caesarean section. Very importantly it will also allow us to stop using space in the gynaecology theatre so that they can increase the number of operations that they are able to offer."

The building work will consist of upgrading and refurbishing an old maternity theatre, which had been decommissioned, to modern standards and to provide a surgical recovery room on the Delivery Suite. The intention is also to improve facilities on the postnatal ward, allowing the formation of a dedicated area for women who require an elective (planned) caesarean birth.

An important benefit of this work will be to free up much needed capacity for the Trust's gynaecology work, as currently some gynaecology theatre capacity is being taken up by maternity.

Ms Ingrid Granne, Clinical Director for Gynaecology, said: "We are so pleased about this new theatre, as this will free up more time in our gynaecology theatres, helping to provide more availability for operations for patients. This in turn will help reduce waiting times for our gynaecology patients who need non-urgent, planned operations."

Nationally and internationally the rate of caesarean section births is increasing. This is reflected in the Thames Valley. Care for women in the Thames Valley with high-risk pregnancies is based in Oxford, and therefore the need for surgical facilities has significantly increased, and the trend is increasing.