Work begins on expanded Langley Memorial Hospital maternity ward

Vandekerkhove family donates $1 million to project, which will provide more beds and other services.

  • Jan. 9, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Patients at Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) are one step closer to a newly expanded maternity unit, as construction is now underway on The Vandekerkhove Family Maternity Centre.

The Fraser Health Authority (FHA) issued a Request for Proposal in September 2012 to general contractors, and Vancouver-based Bird Construction was awarded the construction contract for the new centre.

The expansion will include seven additional Single Room Maternity Care (SRMC) rooms, including one with improved isolation facilities, and reserved space for three additional rooms to support future expansion. LMH is one of four Fraser Health sites offering the SRMC model, which is based on best practice and contributes to a better childbirth experience by supporting family-centred care. With the seven new rooms, the total number of SRMC spaces will increase to 20, to better manage current and future demand. The number of births at LMH is expected to increase to 2,336 by 2020 — a 28 per cent increase from 2009.

In addition to the new rooms, the maternity clinic, which is currently operating out of temporary space within the hospital, will be relocated next to the maternity unit. Comprised of general practitioners with specific interests in primary maternity care, the clinic completes more than 10,000 patient visits every year.

Further improvements include a dedicated Post Anaesthetic Recovery Unit (PACU) room to allow families to stay together after surgery; renovated and expanded nursery space with improved isolation facilities; additional on-call rooms for medical students who are completing their obstetrical placement in the Langley Maternity Clinic; and multi-purpose space for team training and meetings.

The new maternity unit will be named The Vandekerkhove Family Maternity Centre, in recognition of a $1 million gift from Langley’s Vandekerkhove family. The $6.5 million project is being funded by the community through Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s commitment of $5.35 million, with the additional $1.15 million funded by FHA.

FHA is also funding various infrastructure projects totaling $5.5 million, which are required to support the LMH maternity expansion, and will also fund its ongoing operational costs.

Construction is scheduled for completion in late 2013, at which time four beds will open. The three remaining beds will open in 2015.

FHA provides a wide range of integrated health services to the largest and fastest growing population in B.C.  Forty per cent of child births in British Columbia are at Fraser Health hospitals, which amount to more than 15,000 births each year.