A £450,000 makeover is set to modernise the labour ward at Warrington Hospital where more than 3,000 babies are born every year.

Many mums from Runcorn and Widnes will benefit from the upgrade, part of a £25 million national NHS funding programme.

Labour rooms will have their own toilet and showers.

A new low risk birthing suite is being created for midwife-led care and a second birthing pool for mums requesting a water birth.

Senior Midwife Lisa Whittle, labour ward manager at Warrington and Halton Hospitals, said: “We’re delighted to get the go-ahead and receive the funding which will be fantastic for local women.

“ Being able to offer the extra facilities for all our women in labour will really help improve the privacy and dignity for the excellent service that we have here.

“It helps us to meet our pledge to improve the environment and birth options for local families.”

The maternity ward is moving to the Daresbury wing for two months from the start of February as the work is starting immediately.

A new induction of labour bay will also be developed.

This will enable a birthing partner to stay overnight with a mums to be, to support her through the early stages of induced labour. Birth partners are currently unable to stay overnight due to lack of space and facilities.

A new aromatherapy, reflexology and hypnotherapy-birthing suite will provide greater choice in birthing plans and there will be improvements to privacy for bereavement facilities.

The Daresbury wing is now vacant after orthopaedic surgery was moved to the new treatment centre beside Halton Hospital.

It has single rooms and its own theatres which can be used for caesarean sections and other procedures.

Mums-to-be will be notified about the changes through the community midwifery service.

Other women’s services in the Croft wing and the neonatal unit won’t be affected by the move.