Work has begun transforming women’s and maternity services at Wexham Park Hospital.
Trust bosses and representatives from developer Kier Group completed a symbolic ‘ground breaking’ ceremony by turning the first spadefuls of earth to mark the start of work on the £10m project.
Over the next 12 months the labour ward will be rebuilt in phases to include en suite toilet and bathrooms in all rooms, the birthing centre for midwife-led care will be extended and more birth pools will be added.
Further improvements include separate waiting areas for antenatal care and gynaecology patients.
Full services will continue throughout and the same number of midwives will be working. Birth pools will remain for women who would like them and clear signage will direct visitors whenever services have to be temporarily relocated.
Chief executive Sir Andrew Morris said the new facilities would bring a higher standard of care to more families in the Slough area and beyond.
He said he was very excited to finally be starting work on the first of the major capital projects envisaged as part of the transformation of services at Wexham Park and Heatherwood when Frimley Health took over two years ago.
Others include the rebuilding of Heatherwood Hospital and the development of a new emergency department and urgent assessment centre at Wexham, both of which are currently going through the planning process.