St George Hospital's birthing unit wins construction award

State-of-the-art: Professor Michael Chapman and acting midwifery unit manager Monique Keevers with a newborn baby in one of the birthing suites last week. Picture: Chris Lane
State-of-the-art: Professor Michael Chapman and acting midwifery unit manager Monique Keevers with a newborn baby in one of the birthing suites last week. Picture: Chris Lane

St George Hospital's state-of-the-art birthing unit has won a major award a year after it opened.

The multi-million dollar, purpose-built unit was officially opened in February 2020, just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was among the big winners at the recent 2020 Master Builders Association Excellence in Construction Awards.

Builder Fugen Constructions received the award for its work converting the hospital's former intensive care unit into a state-of-the-art birthing unit.

Professor Michael Chapman, Clinical Director of Women's Health at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, which oversees St George Hospital, said work was completed in just 12 months with minimal disruption to the hospital.

He said more than 2000 babies have been born in the birthing unit since it opened.

"We have been so lucky to have this addition to the great service we provide to our patients. The builders are to be congratulated for their great work," Professor Chapman said.

"It is the envy of other hospitals with a large bath in every spacious room to assist women during their labour."

The birthing unit's midwifery manager Maria Bulmer said it was wonderful to be able to offer world-class facilities to their mums.

The birthing unit was rebuilt at a cost of $11.5 million as part of the ongoing redevelopment of St George Hospital and replaced a unit built in 1972 and upgraded in 1991.

It is twice the size of the previous unit and includes eight extra-large birthing rooms for delivery, all with large bathtubs, two acute assessment rooms and the latest neonatal monitoring technology.

Each birthing room is about 40sqm and features curved walls, huge artworks and soothing colours, while resuscitation areas are hidden behind wall panelling but are easily accessible.