Royal visit to open new unit at The Royal Oldham Hospital

Date published: 30 May 2013

Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex is to visit The Royal Oldham Hospital on Thursday 13 June.

Her Royal Highness will officially open the new Women and Children’s development at the hospital.

The Royal Oldham Hospital’s new £44m women and children’s supercentre fully opened to patients on Monday 3 December 2012. The women and children’s facility includes a purpose-built four storey building, new antenatal wards, 14 new labour delivery rooms all with ensuite, obstetric theatres, a midwife-led birth centre, a postnatal ward with 29 beds, a children’s unit and a brand new level three neonatal intensive care unit. Around 5,300 babies are expected to be born each year at the maternity unit.

The Royal Oldham Hospital is now one of three specialist regional neonatal centres providing the highest level of intensive care to the smallest and most vulnerable babies. The NICU consists of 37 cots with nine intensive care, nine high dependency and 19 special care cots.

The new development represents the largest capital outlay made to date by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The development is an integral and final part of the Making it Better programme to redesign and improve children’s, maternity and neonatal services across Greater Manchester.

The Pennine Acute Hospital Trust Chairman, John Jesky, will greet Her Royal Highness before the delegation is shown around the new children’s wards, maternity unit and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where she will meet staff and patients.

Her Royal Highness was born Sophie Rhys-Jones. In 1999, Miss Rhys-Jones married The Earl of Wessex in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

As The Countess of Wessex, Her Royal Highness acts in support of The Queen and of her husband in his roles, and undertakes public duties for a large number of her own charities.

The Countess is particularly involved with charities relating to children and disabilities. Her Royal Highness is particularly committed to promoting the work and need of organisations that focus on helping and improving opportunities for children and young people with sensory, learning and communications disabilities. These include Dyslexia Action, Mencap, the National Autistic Society, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and Vision 2020.

The Countess will be formally accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren Smith KStJ JP DLitt LLD.

More details will be made available about the Royal visit within the next few weeks.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.