THE team behind the new Huddersfield Family Birth Centre have won a top national innovation award.

They collected the honour at a awards ceremony in London hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity.

Their entry highlighted the work which went on before the opening of the Royal Infirmary centre in March.

Local women in focus groups were asked what they wanted in the new facility and the new unit was developed round what they said.

Their views were involved in the service development and the colour schemes and they were also on the interview panels for the centre manager.

Consultant midwife Helen Shallow said: “This was a new venture for the health trust, so we wanted to involve local women from the very start to make sure we had the model of care they wanted.

“We enjoyed working with them and the early signs are that we have a popular unit with more than 150 births so far.”

Health Minister Ann Keen MP presented the awards. About 200 politicians, health professionals and user representatives from maternity services across the UK were at the event in the Atrium Restaurant, Millbank.

The all-party group highlights maternity issues in Parliament and brings together health professionals and service users with politicians.