BABIES and children at the Royal Bolton Hospital are in safe hands under the department’s new boss.

Sue Ainsworth, aged 43, has returned to the hospital after an eight-year break, before which she worked as a nurse and midwife at the hospital for 10 years.

Since she left, the department has had millions of pounds invested into it as part of the “Making it Better”

scheme, which turned Bolton into a maternity supercentre.

Ms Ainsworth is now the professional lead for children’s services at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

She looks after a number of services, including neo-natal and the special baby care unit, the children’s ward, including the high dependency area, the community neo-natal team, the children’s community services and children and adolescent mental health services.

Ms Ainsworth said she is passionate about children’s services and glad to be back in Bolton. “I know massive investment has gone into the hospital through Making it Better and the department is absolutely fantastic compared to in the past,” she said.

“There have been so many developments on the neo-natal ward — there is a lot more technology than in the past and we have more staff. Now we are able to look after so many more babies than we could do in the past.”

Ms Ainsworth, originally from Wigan, has worked in the NHS for 25 years and has lived in Bolton for 22 years.

She said one of the department’s strengths was the way it had built on the staff they already had by offering them the opportunities to gain additional qualifications and training in order to work in the specialist units.

She added: “We want to build on the service that we have already and we are making sure that the babies do get the best care.

“I think it is an excellent service and not only for the people of Bolton but for the surrounding areas and for people in the North West.”

Ms Ainsworth said the job could be difficult, but was also very rewarding — and a highlight was when youngsters who had been treated made a return visit to say hello.

Investment in community services also means that children can be discharged much sooner, which she said was a huge improvement.