Reuben Foundation Maternity Centre
Thanks to a generous gift from The Reuben Foundation, we have been able to transform the labour and maternity wards at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital into a world-class environment for women and their families, creating the Reuben Foundation Maternity Centre. Our maternity service sees over 6,000 babies born every year, the new centre provides women and their babies with an outstanding patient environment in a world-class facility.
As part of the transformation, we commissioned artist Adam Furman to create colourful mosaic artworks which span the exterior of the centre. We also commissioned artist Fanny Shorter to create bespoke, calming and welcoming artwork for the Maternity Urgent Care Centre, inspired by botanicals, nature and colour.
Nature is a key theme of the new centre. Wood effect flooring and furniture, digital moving artworks showing scenes from nature, as well as calming colours and natural textiles are incorporated throughout the whole centre. A birthing pool has also been installed in Labour Ward for women who want to give birth naturally but cannot do so in our Birth Centre due to pregnancy risks they may have.
Throughout the centre, we have worked with international design consultancy ARUP to design bespoke lighting. Following extensive research and observation, lighting was specified to improve sleep and reduce fatigue by removing imperceptible flicker and glare. Dimmable lighting allows women to choose their environment and automatic floor level lights with low output in en-suite bathrooms avoid women being abruptly awoken by bright light during the night. Each room has also been equipped with new recliner chairs which open into fully flat single beds for birth partners. Read more about the opening of the Reuben Foundation Maternity Centre attended by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
When designing this new centre, our process was informed by another project of ours, the Birth Centre at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which opened in February 2014. This bespoke, midwife-led centre offers spa-like facilities within the safety of the hospital. The centre comprises of seven rooms, four with birthing pools and mood lighting, accompanied by bespoke illustrations from artist Laurie Hastings. The team in the unit consists of midwives and doulas who together support women through birth.