A DOUBLE dose of good news has been delivered at Dorset County Hospital’s maternity ward.

The Dorchester hospital’s maternity staff are celebrating after being recognised for the quality of their care as well as winning funding to improve facilities for mums and babies.

The unit has been placed in the top 15 maternity services in the UK for care quality and safety by healthcare intelligence firm CHKS.

The accolade comes after the service was analysed against nine clinical indicators including caesarean rates, length of stay, complications, readmissions and injuries as well as three indicators from the Care Quality Commission’s maternity survery.

The result puts Dorset County Hospital among the top ten per cent of maternity providers in the county.

That good news was followed by the announcement that the unit had won £276,000 of funding from the government’s Improving Maternity Care Settings Fund.

The money will help develop facilities for mothers with complex mental health needs who require more support after giving birth.

It will also go towards the building of two en-suite rooms between the maternity unit and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) for mothers and fathers with babies on the SCBU.

Head of Midwifery at Dorset County Hospital Jo Hartley said: “It is great to have the quality of our care publicly acknowledged by CHKS and this generous funding from the Department of Health will enable us to provide accommodation for women who need more intensive support after giving birth.

“It will also ensure that women with babies on SCBU can stay on the unit rather than having to go home before their baby is discharged.”