Recite me link

Two milestones were celebrated by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW NHS Trust) this week.

On Tuesday 21 September, Tunbridge Wells Hospital marked 10 years of being fully operational and on Wednesday 22 September, Maidstone Birth Centre celebrated 10 years since it first opened its doors.

Over the last decade Tunbridge Wells Hospital has cared for 742,000 people via its Emergency Department, carried out 142,000 operations, delivered 1,874,000 outpatient appointments and delivered some 53,000 babies!

To mark the anniversary, a cake was cut by Medical Director Dr Peter Maskell with the help of Karen Wickins, MTW’s longest continuous serving member of staff, having worked for the Trust for 44 years. Cupcakes were also available for employees via the hospital’s staff restaurant throughout the day.

MTW NHS Trust’s Chief Executive Miles Scott, said: “It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the official opening of Tunbridge Wells Hospital but we have also achieved so much during this time.

“The hospital was the first NHS hospital to provide every inpatient with their own room and this enabled us to transform infection control which has served us extremely well during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m very proud of all the staff at MTW, both past and present, for all their hard work and dedication over the years. We have many exciting plans for the future, including the new medical student accommodation and academic teaching building, and developing plans for a new building to house a paediatric emergency department, to ensure we continue to deliver outstanding care to our patients.”

Caleb Thompson was the first baby to be born at the midwifery-led Maidstone Birth Centre, on Monday 26 September 2011. Since then midwives at the centre have welcomed 4,349 babies (up to 22 September 2021) into the world. The lightest baby born in that timeframe weighed 4lbs 9oz and the heaviest weighed 11lbs 8oz.

The birth centre, which is furnished more like a home to allow women to spend time with their families, features two birthing rooms, four post-natal rooms, double beds to allow partners to stay, a kitchen/diner, and a garden room that opens out to a small garden with a seating area.

To celebrate the birth centre’s 10th anniversary, an afternoon tea was held yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 22 September).

Birth Centre Manager Janine Absalom, one of 10 members of staff who have worked at the centre since it opened, said: “The opening of the birth centre was very special and I feel privileged to have supported many women and their families and be part of what is a very special time for them.

“Our team are committed ambassadors for midwifery-led care and our facilities support mothers and their families to ensure they have the best possible birth.

“We look forward to welcoming many more babies in the birth centre over the coming years.”