MUMS and dads waiting anxiously for their critically ill newborns to fight their way back to health now have a place to relax in comfort after a neonatal centre opened its new family accommodation.

Mayor and Mayoress of Southampton Cllr Ivan White and his wife Mary cut the ribbon at a launch party at Princess Anne Hospital attended by parents.

They will now benefit from a lounge, upgraded places to stay over and new showering and toilet facilities on the unit that is one of the country’s largest with 20 intensive care, 16 special care and nine transitional care cots – treating 900 newborns every year. This comes after a successful fundraising campaign that brought in about £110,000.

The mayor and mayoress are pictured with hospital chief executive Fiona Dalton (centre) and families and staff at the neonatal centre in the new family lounge.