A NEW £32million centre will ensure mums and babies get the ‘very best care,’ health bosses say.

Parents-to-be will soon be able to use facilities that were pledged to East Lancashire residents after a major public consultation four years ago.

Health chiefs said the ‘Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre’ at Burnley General Hospital will be at the heart of services when it arrives on schedule this October.

Rineke Schram, medical director and consultant obstetrician for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This centre will mean we truly will be able to offer women and babies the very best 21st- century healthcare, tailored to their needs.

“By creating one dedicated centre we will be able to further develop our expertise and also ensure that our experienced and senior medical staff are on hand when mothers and very poorly babies need them most.”

It will offer more advanced maternity and health services and intensive care for the smallest and most poorly babies.

Pregnant women will be able to choose to have their baby at home, at the new hospital unit where advanced screening, tests or procedures will be carried out for women advised for medical reasons to have a hospital birth, or in one of the new midwife-led birthing centres, opening at the same time, in Blackburn and Burnley, and later in Rossendale.

Care throughout pregnancy and later antenatal and postnatal care will continue to be delivered through outpatient clinics and midwives working in the community.

Sheena Byrom, head of midwifery for the trust, said the new range of choice would set national standards.

She said: “This unprecedented investment in family care services will help ensure our mums and babies get the best care, in the best environment.

“This new model of care will be a centre of excellence we can all be proud of.”

Louise Dunn, a mother herself and chairman of the Maternity Services Liaison Committee, said she was delighted East Lancashire would receive “the very best facilities”.

She said: “After seeing birthing centres in operation across the country, I know how brilliant they are going to be.”