A £629,000 refurbishment of the maternity unit at Croydon University Hospital has led to bigger birthing centre rooms, a new pool on the labour ward and reclining chairs for partners of new mums, who can stay when their baby has been born.

An increase in midwives at the Trust means there is a ratio of one for every 28 births, meeting the nationally regarded 'gold standard' for maternity services.

The improvements to maternity services have been designed and supported by a group of local mums, who worked with staff to highlight what could be done to improve mothers' experience, through the Trust's maternity services liaison committee.

Gina Brockwell is the Trust's first consultant midwife and is in one of only two such posts in south West London.

After recently joining the maternity service, Ms Brockwell will work closely with the Director of Midwifery and the team, to ensure all women are treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

She will also provide expert advice to midwives, doctors and commissioners.

Director of Midwifery Ann Morling said: "We wanted to improve care for mums so we have asked them and our staff where we could make changes.

"I am getting regular feedback from the ward staff that mums have noticed an improvement in the environment and the way we work.

"These improvements are making a real difference to the care that mums around Croydon receive."