Baggies to babbies: West Brom convert stadium into maternity clinics

A championship football stadium is set to be transformed into temporary maternity clinics so that expecting mothers can avoid going to hospital.

West Bromwich Albion will provide free space in the East Stand suites at The Hawthorns from Monday. The area will be used to deliver both antenatal and postnatal care from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said.

They will be staffed by 10 midwives and three support workers, the trust added, and will be operated as an appointment-only facility. The clinics were set up by Louise Wilde, deputy director of midwifery, and Cathy Brown, community matron.

Helen Hurst, director of midwifery at the trust, said: ‘We wanted to provide an alternative space for women who are having antenatal and postnatal care.

‘Women are slightly anxious about coming to hospital in the current climate so we wanted to find a safe space away from the hospital.

‘It will be for women who are 24 weeks onwards and there will be postnatal clinics for those who have been discharged.’

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She added: ‘It will be as safe as the services that are currently provided by our midwives within the community, and in GP clinics.

‘Should the need arise, we will be able to call on the ambulance service. We are really grateful to the Baggies for providing this space for women during this worrying time.’

Football teams across UK are currently on a hiatus after all of both the men’s and women’s leagues were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

West Brom chief executive Mark Jenkins said the Baggies were ‘more than happy’ to accommodate the midwives to ‘enable this vital service to be safely conducted’.

He added: ‘It is another example of how the club can help within our community during the pandemic, something we are determined to continue to do. And we like to think you are never too young to join the Albion family.’

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