Maternity unit at LMH to expand

The Fraser Health Authority is spending $6.5 million to expand Langley Memorial Hospital's maternity unit.

This expansion is an integral part of FHA's strategy to build maternity capacity in high-growth communities across the Fraser Valley.

The business case for the expansion, developed in collaboration with LMH clinical stakeholders, indicated an "urgent need" for renovating the existing maternity ward to provide better access for expectant mothers.

The projected number of births at LMH is expected to increase to 2,336 by 2020 — a 28 per cent rise from 2009.

The expansion design includes seven additional labour/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms and moving the current maternity clinic next to the existing hospital maternity unit.

The additional rooms will be designed for single room maternity care (SRMC). LMH is one of four Fraser Health sites offering this model which is based on best practice and contributes to a better childbirth experience by supporting family centered care.

With the seven new rooms, the total number of SRMC spaces will increase to 20 to better manage current and future demand.

The maternity clinic, comprised of general practitioners with specific interests in primary maternity care, is currently operating out of temporary space within the hospital. The relocation would be achieved by building on the adjacent roof area over the northwest portion of the second floor. In addition, site infrastructure will be enhanced to support the expansion.

The expansion project will be funded mostly through Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s commitment of $5.35 million, with the balance coming from the FHA.

Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2013. Four beds will open in 2013 and the other three remaining beds are planned to open two years later.

Forty per cent of child births in British Columbia are at Fraser Health hospitals, which amount to more than 15,000 births each year.

Rich Coleman, MLA Fort Langley-Aldergrove, noted that LMH serves a rapidly growing population and the LMH maternity unit maintains the second highest occupancy rate within Fraser Health.

"This is great news for the community and families in this region as it will significantly enhance LMH’s ability to serve the Langley community,” he said.

Langley MLA Mary Polak called the announcement "an exciting milestone."

Rick McMullan, who chairs the hospital foundation's board, said:"The maternity unit at Langley Memorial Hospital is truly where this community begins and this long overdue expansion will ensure that the needs of our growing population will continue to be met well into the future. We are excited by this opportunity and we look forward to working with our supporters to bring this vision to life."

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