University Hospital opens new infant feeding room

Outpatients feeding room at University HospitalProfessor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), has officially opened a new infant feeding room in the Outpatients Department (OPD) at University Hospital, Coventry.

Prof Hardy was joined by members of the OPD team including Healthcare Support Worker, Karen Brown, who suggested the idea of having room especially to feed babies and small children.

Explaining how the room came about, Karen Brown, Healthcare Support Worker, said:

“We often have parents and guardians asking if they can go somewhere private to feed their babies and small children and in the past we would try to find them an empty consultation room.

“However, over the years as the clinics have become busier, it’s become more difficult to find a suitable space. So, my colleague Veronica Freelove and I thought it would be nice if there was a dedicated room. I spoke to my Modern Matron at the time, Fran Dawson, who liked the idea and suggested I asked Andy Hardy, which I did, and now here we are.

“I’m so pleased, it’s been a real team effort with managers and healthcare workers all working together to make it happen for the benefit of our patients.”

Commenting on the new addition to the Outpatients Department, Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive of UHCW, said:

“I was delighted when Karen contacted me. We are always looking for ways in which we can make our patients’ time in our hospitals easier and more comfortable. Progress doesn’t always have to mean big, expensive changes. Sometimes it can be relatively simple, yet still very important, innovations such as the infant feeding room.

“Karen and Veronica’s idea showed compassion for parents and guardians and helped us to improve their experience at the hospital during their visit.”

The new infant feeding room is situated in a corner of the main OPD waiting area. It provides a private space with a sofa, cushions and a special piece of artwork created by Warwickshire artist Ursula Westwood and patients on UHCW’s Children’s Ward as part of the Healing Arts initiative at UHCW NHS Trust.

To create the work, the children layered out Merino wool fibres to make the desired picture. Some made butterflies, whilst others created images of trees and birds. Then, using soapy water, the children fused the fibres together to make the felt.

Ursula used a needlework technique known as an applique to bring together the individual pieces of felt to create one large artwork. She then added details using freehand machine embroidery.

Commenting on the artwork, artist Ursula Westwood, said:

“We wanted to create an artwork that depicted breastfeeding in a blissful scene, evoking a feeling of softness and positivity with fresh, bright colours and references to nature.”


Picture caption: (left to right) Joan Goodbody, Modern Matron OPD; Professor Andy Hard, CEO of UHCW; Karen Brown, Healthcare Support Worker; Sharon Fordham, General Outpatients Manager; Mark Easter Director of Pharmacy; Frances Dawson, Modern Matron.