A major fundraising campaign to improve the maternity building at Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS) was launched this month with a £500,000 donation by British Indian peer Lord Swraj Paul.
The industrialist and philanthropist was introduced to the hospital and suggested as a worthy cause by friend and local member of Parliament Barry Gardiner.
The Labour Party MP for Brent North said: “The maternity service has improved so much in recent years and women need a building that reflects the amazing quality of care they will find inside.”
The donation will be used to improve the façade of the building and make improvements to the main entrance. The maternity unit serves one of the most diverse communities in the UK and delivers more than 4,000 babies a year. It is one of the first units in the country to offer a 24/7 translation service for pregnant women whose first language isn’t English.
Lord Paul said: “The maternity unit donation is made in honour of my dear late wife, Lady Aruna, who gave me my four darling children. There are few things as important as helping bring a new life into the world.
“That is why I wanted to support the midwives and staff who do such wonderful work here at Northwick Park”.
The hospital is part of the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (LNWH), which provides hospital and community services to the people of Harrow, Brent and Ealing in the city. Established in October 2014, its team of 9,000 clinical and support staff serve a diverse population of approximately 1 million people.
Pippa Nightingale, Chief Executive of LNWH, noted: “We are grateful to Lord Paul for his generous donation. I started my career as a midwife so know how important it is to make women feel safe and comfortable in a maternity service.
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“It is a place where they are putting their trust in the NHS to safely care for them during pregnancy and birth.”