Gloucestershire Royal Hospital is the first in the UK to use new, cable-free baby monitors from Philips in its maternity unit.

The company argues that the Avalon monitors allow women to move around more freely during labour, while still accurately measuring the heart rate of the mother and her baby or babies.

The assistant divisional director of midwifery at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Dawn Morrall, said in a statement: “Our main aim is to deliver more choice for mothers in labour.

“We want to make sure mothers-to-be and their babies benefit from the advantages of being mobile and upright in labour, while also delivering the best possible birth experience.”

The new monitors transmit foetal and maternal vital signs information to a monitor via a base station.

From there, information can be transferred into the Philips IntelliSpace perinatal information management system, which can be used to record maternity information from booking to post-birth follow-up visits.

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital is part of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which serves a population of around 612,000 people.

It is using six of the Avalon monitors in its birth unit, which is a brand new facility, situated in a new Women’s Centre.

The trust is part of a group of hospitals in the South that are looking for new clinical information systems through a SmartCare project worth up to £60m, that was recently won by InterSystems.