Published on: 15 November 2019

Mams-to-be can now sit more comfortably in the antenatal department at South Tyneside District Hospital.

Luxurious, leather sofas and chairs have replaced the old furniture in the lounge and the quiet room, thanks to the thoughtfulness of a patient and a generous donation from retailer Sofology.

Laura and Nathan Langley, of South Shields, are expecting their first child on Christmas Day and Laura attends antenatal appointments at South Tyneside District Hospital. She noticed that the furniture in the department was looking a little tired and decided to approach a number of companies to ask if they would be willing to replace it and Sofology responded. 

Laura, 29, who works as a radiographer at the hospital, said: “I think what Sofology have done is amazing. The new sofas and chairs are so comfortable and modern and they really brighten up the place.”

Midwife and team leader Anne Hill said: “We’re very grateful to Laura and to Sofology for these fantastic, new sofas and chairs which are making a real difference to our patients’ experience. The quiet room is a private place to take women when they are upset and it is important that the surroundings are conducive to helping them to feel comforted. The lounge is available to women and their families while they wait for the results of their tests and we like to try and make them feel at home. There is a TV in there and the new furniture adds to the homely, relaxing atmosphere.”   

Sofology Marketing Manager Janet Duckworth said:  "When we were contacted by Laura she advised us of the amazing things the staff in the antenatal department do but explained that some of the rooms needed some ‘tlc’ to help mums and dads to feel more comfortable. It is amazing that we are able to support such a fantastic hospital, as well as the parents who use the services. At Sofology, we want everybody to feel at home on a sofa they love and it's important that we can extend a little piece of home to these families whenever we can."  

The improved comfort in the antenatal department coincided with changes to maternity services at South Tyneside District Hospital. The new midwifery-led birthing centre at the hospital offers more choice on where to give birth for local women across South Tyneside and Sunderland. Women who have a low-risk pregnancy which is problem-free have the option of: 

  • Giving birth at the new midwifery-led birthing centre at South Tyneside District Hospital
  • Giving birth under midwifery-led care at Sunderland Royal Hospital, which is within the consultant-led maternity unit 
  • Giving birth at another maternity unit of their choice in the region
  • Giving birth at home